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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  February 6, 2014 10:00am-3:01pm EST

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in determining what to do with it. and let's be clear, we are talking about federal property, that is property owned by all americans. the land in country in escambia, florida, anchorage alaska, cape hatteras, yellowstone and grand teaton, the land impacted by this package is federal land owned by each and every american taxpayer. in the case of these land transfers, the federal government gave the land and gave it to a local community and the only requirement in most cases was that the land always be used for public purposes. as long as it's a park or a school or a fire station, it's yours, for free. what these bills do is end those public purpose requirements. the communities want to use these lands for private profit and close them to the public in many cases. this is not a land grab by uncle
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sam or silly scheme to harm local communities and to use their power to hold down the taxpayers and keep the public out. this is a community asking to make money off land that was owned by all americans and it is the job of congress to decide if that is a good idea or not. and let's put one other misleading claim to rest. while republicans claim the federal government owns too much land, the historic trend has been one of divestiture and fragmentation. as recently as the late 1860's, the federal government owed 1.2 billion acres in the contiguous united states. grants to states, homesteaders, land grant colleges, railroads and alaska and the west have reduced land ownership by 640 million acres today. we are not giving land away for centuries, not buying it up. and today we have a whole series
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of bills seeking more federal land that we own to consider -- and the american people require we consider this carefully and the constitution requires that congress be empowered to consider these carefully. these mischaracterizations are not helpful. these bills are not in the best interest of the american people. on the merits alone and using misinformation to claim otherwise is wrong. and i reserve the balance. . mr. hastings: could i inquire how much time on both sides? i'd advise my friend at this point i have no more requests for time and i am prepared to close if the gentleman is prepared to close. mr. grijalva: i have no further speakers.
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the chair: the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: i want to respect the chairman. the chairman is correct. the natural resources committee, which i am a proud member, appears to be very busy passing bills. but let's be clear. the republican majority time and time again acts unilaterally alone, without meaningful cooperation with the minority in those legislation and in the house and with the senate and with the administration. on suspensions, the majority insists on ridiculous limitations that prevent consideration of many measures designed to conserve lands and, of course, they insist on more than 3:1 ratio to their legislation to ours. no wonder -- no wonder the number of things are lagging behind as to what we have done in the past. as to the bills we have considered under the rule, most
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were identical that were passed in the house last congress but because they were opposed by the senate and administration they went nowhere. they keep passing the same dead-on-arrival bills over and over again to make the committee look busy is -- should not be mistaken for legislating. the idea is to work on legislation that can bring bills of a bipartisan nature that the senate will deal with and more importantly that the administration will sign. that's the legislation my side of the aisle looks forward to working on and in a very serious manner, improving the operation of interior, improving the operation of our public lands and creating transparency at all levels. we want to do that and we look forward to working with the majority and with our esteemed chairman in that direction. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the remainder of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i yield myself the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. chairman. well, i'm very -- was very pleased when i heard my good friend from arizona congratulate the work of the committee until i heard his explanation of what the committee did and then i had to add a bit of caution there. i just want to point out when the gentleman complains about the ratio of majority and minority, we are falling precisely the same example when roles reversed. in other words, when the democrats were in the majority, when we were in the minority, we had the same ratio. we're following the tradition and that's been here in this house for a long period of time. the difference i would say, mr. chairman, is the committee has been much more productive when we've been in control meaning there's been more legislation moving that the democrats would like. but i want to make this point also. there is democrat and republican suspension bills
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that are both sitting in the senate that haven't been acted on, and i think that -- the senate needs to act on those pieces of legislation. mr. chairman, this is an important piece of legislation, and all of these titles have passed out of the committee and were put here. they all were acted on, they all had input in subcommittee in some way or another within the committee. so i wanted to make that point. this is not legislation that was pulled out of the air. it was legislation that was delivered upon within the committee. and i also want to mention even though the statement of administration policy was negative in some parts of the bill, there is no veto threat by the administration on this piece of legislation. they expressed concerns, as is understandable, on certain parts of it. i understand that. but there is no veto threat at all whatsoever in what the administration has said. and finally, let me make this
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observation, and we hear this over and over and over, especially as it relates to the nepa, the national environmental policy act. now, i'm going to acknowledge that nepa certainly has its place within our -- within our statutes and how we conduct policy, particularly on public lands. but here's where we part company, mr. chairman. we part company because the -- my friends on the other side of the aisle always advocate that even before congress acts, nepa should be the judge of whatever that action is. now, i have to tell you, mr. chairman, i think that is contrary to what our role is here. congress created nepa, meaning that congress is the one that decides what the law of the land is. within these bills, we are deciding what the law of the
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land is, and nepa should not get in front of our actions. but to hear my friends on the other side of the aisle argue, they are saying over and over and over again that nepa should be between congress acting on a law. wait a minute. we are putting regulations before congress should be doing their constitutional duty and enacting statutes? i'm sorry, mr. chairman. i part company with that philosophy, yet, that is exactly what we hear over and over and over from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle. we are the ones that's given by the constitution to make statutes. we believe that that should be the law and then regulations follow, not the other way around. but that is what we hear over and over and over again. so mr. chairman, this is a good piece of legislation. as i mentioned, it addresses areas that are certain
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parochial in certain parts of the country, as my colleague from utah said, all the way from florida to alaska. i think it's responsible legislation, and i think it deserves our support. and with that i'll yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 113-135. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part a of house report 113-340. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and
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controlled by the proponent and an owe -- opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject for division of demand of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in part a of house report 113-340. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 house in part a of report 113-340 offered by mr. grijalva of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 472, the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. my amendment is straightforward. it strikes title 4 of the bill. title 4 is the text of h.r. -- is the text of h.r. 2095, introduced by my friend from utah, chairman of the public lands subcommittee, mr. bishop. the title would prohibit b.l.m.
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from acquiring additional land until the agency creates a publicly accessible database that inventories current land holdings and identifies lands suitable for disposable. much of the bill seeks to undermine the public planning process and give away federal land free of charge. this land belongs to the american people, and if we are going to be in the business of giving it away, we should at least not hinder our ability to acquire more land when it makes sense to do so. let me see if i understand it. i do not oppose the idea of creating a database that catalogs federal land holdings. i do not oppose the idea of transparency at b.l.m. or any government agency for that matter, but putting in an arbitrary acquisition is just land policy. the intent of the title is not to create the database. it is to limit land acquisition. the majority has been clear
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about their agenda to limited expansion of the federal state, and the bill we are considering today is just another attempt to advance that priority. it's a wolf in sheep's clothing. through the public land use planning process, b.l.m. keeps an inventory of its land. land managers from the folks down the street in the department of interior building to the field staff all over the country know how much land the federal government owns. in fact, the federal land and policy management act, also known as the b.l.m.'s organic act, provides clear direction and authority for catalogging land.ventory of federal flmma has disposal through the public planning process. like i mentioned before, i don't see a problem of creating a data of information available and b.l.m.'s management resource plans. it is limiting authority of land acquisition. land acquisition authority manges the management of deral lands -- makes the
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management of the federal lands better. they acquire land in order to clear up the board of ownership, consolidating federal honored holeding and making them easier to manage. limiting the authority would have the consequence of making the management of federal lands more difficult and less efficient. land is also acquired would make sense for conservation and resource management purposes. the federal government is the steward of some our nation's most pristine and treasured resources. there are times when it makes sense to add to national parks or national monuments to make sure that they have the resources and the protection that they merit. popular programs, like the land and water conservation fund, have helped conserve millions of acres that provide all of our constituents with opportunities to hike, hunt, fish and pursue other recreational activities. if we have to ensure that efficient management of federal land, limiting land acquisition
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authority is a step in the wrong direction. my amendment makes sure that this important tool is not jeopardized, and i urge my colleagues to support its adoption. i thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. mr. bishop: mr. speaker. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? mr. bishop: i wish to claim time in opposition of the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. bishbirble thank you. i appreciate very much the gentleman from arizona. do i en-- mr. bishop: thank you. i appreciate very much the gentleman from arizona. at this stage of the game i am a little bit perplexed about the amendment. the gentleman purports of saying that the idea of transparency and keeping a database is not a bad idea. he just objects to the enforcement mechanism that we future in there. if that were the case, i wonder why he didn't strike the enforcement mechanism out or come up with something else. i am not bound to this particular. had there been a date certain or some other ideas i mean even have accepted that as a
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friendly approach to try and help this particular title. but instead, the amendment strikes everything. it strikes the very essence of forcing them to actually come up with a database that is there. during the clinton administration, and that's been a while ago, the interior department did come up with a database of lands that were available for disposable, that were needless, that were useless for the government. we have the data. the only problem is it's almost impossible to get to the data. the data is found in books in over 150 different local offices. it would take a huge road trip to try and come up with just the information. this is now 2014. the idea that it is -- that the b.l.m. cannot actually put this data on a website that is available to everybody is quite frankly not acceptable. they are too busy to do this is not simply not acceptable. all this says is the data is there, put the data on the website so it is transparent
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and is viewable for everybody to see. . since there has been dragging of the feet since the clinton administration, we'll give you incentive. you can't buy new land until you put it on a web site. it does not stap them from managing the land for utility am use or nonmultiple use. it gives them an incentive to go ahead and do it. if your goal was to change it, i will be amenable to discussions on that, but this amendment strikes the entire thing not just the enforcement provision. for that reason, i would oppose the amendment and urge my colleagues to vote know -- no. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: i think we are also talking about the federal government having the authority
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to buy land from willing sellers and when you bar the federal government from trying to buy land, then what happens? the seller still wants to sell. so who steps up? developers, other high-intensity uses around areas that should be protected. when you look that uncle sam is a buyer for political purposes, you empower developers and others that want the land for completely different uses. and before you know it, an area that you wanted to conserve and preserve is gone. this is bad policy. and to remove the authority from the federal government of being able to purchase land from willing sellers, i think, is a step too far. and with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: i wish to yield two minutes to the gentleman from
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virginia to show how this amendment would impact the chesapeake bay area. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. wittman: i speak in support of h.r. 2954, public access and lands improvement act and i ank doc hastings in bringing this important package of bills to the house floor. and today, i want to highlight how this legislation will aid in the cleanup of one of our prized historic resources, the chesapeake bay. this body of water provides habitat for plants and animals, resources that drive local economies, recreation and a way of life that live on and around its shores. i'm the proud author of title 10. these provisions would implement and strengthen management techniques like crosscut budgeting and adaptive management to ensure we get more
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bang for our buck and make progress in chesapeake bay restoration efforts. these techniques will coordinate how restoration dollars are spent and making sure how everyone understands that individual projects fit into the bigger picture, that way we are not spending money we don't need to or worse, working at cross purposes. the house passed similar legislation as part of h.r. 2578, the conservation and economic growth act. more recently, identical language was adopted by voice vote and included in the house version of the farm bill. these providings would implement and strengthen management techniques to ensure, again, we get more bang for our buck and progress in the chesapeake bay restoration efforts continue and are measureable. cross cut budgeting and independent evaluator should be key components for the complex restoration efforts for our chesapeake bay and i encourage my colleagues to join with me
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and support h.r. 2954. with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. the gentleman has yielded back. mr. bishop: i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it and the amendment is not agreed to. mr. grijalva: i would ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 113-340. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from wyoming seek recognition. mrs. lummis: i have and amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 2 offered by mrs. lummis of
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wyoming. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 472, the gentlewoman from wyoming, mrs. lummis and a member opposed each will control five minutes of the the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wyoming. mrs. lummis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i'm offering this amendment with representative labrador. after discussions with our local agriculture producers and the public lands council on some needed adjustments to the underlying bill. this amendment includes some conforming language to the senate version of the grazing improvement act that was marked up in the energy and natural resources committee last november. this includes allowing the secretary to consolidate environmental reviews of allotment in order to reduce the backlog on permit and lease renewals. the amendment clarifies the definition of current grazing management to the commonsense
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wording of the terms and conditions of an existing permit or lease. it also clarifies that only those directly affected by the renewal, transferor re-issuance of a permit or lease may appeal a final grazing decision. lastly, this amendment addresses some concern about how the federal land agencies treat temporary crossings and trailing. while the underlying bill exempts all crossing and trailing of domestic livestock from the national environmental policy act, this amendment clarifies that temporary application and those where an immediate need exists, will receive a timely response from the agency. it also states that these authorizations are not subject to protest or appeal except by affected parties. our producers' normal business operations require the ability
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to cross and trail livestock and often necessary to remain in compliance with their grazing permits. temporary trailing has a difficult minimum niss impact on the range and approval should be a quick turn around time. whether changes in grazing patterns or requests by federal land agencies can all require trailing unexpect he hadly. a hailstorm can wipe out a strand of grass in an hour. grasshopper infestation can change the grazing conditions on the ground and those kind of things require quick response to get cattle or sheep to a different pasture to keep that grass stand healthy. we need to provide the flexibility for our federal land agencies to improve -- approve temporary requests. i urge my colleagues to support
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the amendment and the underlying bill. i reserve. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. grijalva: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. grijalva: this amendment attempts to conform with the senate language relating to the grazing improvement act but two wrongs don't necessarily make a right. the language is problematic. i thank the sponsor for this amendment and this opportunity to talk more about public land grazing. as i mentioned in my opening remarks, title 8 attempts to address one issue relating to public lands grazing, the backlog of permit renewals but fails to take on the larger issue of below market grazing fees. the federal government charges $1.35 per month per animal unit on federal lands. if we are going to consider legislation that waives nepa and
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extends the tenure of grazing permits -- almost double the number of years, we also have to review the formula for grazing fees. the state of hide hoe charges $12 to $14 per month to graze on state lands. $9. izona, we charge $8 to washington state charges $12 per month. nevada $12.50. california, over $16 per month. we often hear from the majority that the states do a better job in managing their lands and in this case, i agree. the states do a better job making sure their taxpayers get a fair return while federal taxpayers are stuck. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from wyoming is recognized. mrs. lummis: i yield to the chairman of our natural
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resources committee, the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. hastings: i thank the gentlelady for yielding and i support this amendment. in the brief part of this debate points out the importance of having flexibility on the local level rather than having a one size fits all because there are conditions that can come up in grazing in various states and those managers need that flexibility, which i think is a common thread we talk about all the time when we talk about federal land management. this amendment adds very much to the labrador title of the bill and with that, i intend to support it and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: we have no other speakers and in closing, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mrs. lummis: in closing, i would like to point out the difference between state lands and federal lands.
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i ran my state's office of state lands and investments for a time, the rights that are conveyed by state on lands to use their lands are different from the rights that are conveyed by the federal government to users of federal lands. in the case of state lands, frequently, they have many more rights including in some states the right to exclude others. they have the rights to make improvements on the ground, they have the rights to acquire water permits. they have no nepa requirements that are specific to the state land. and other opportunities to in fact, even sublease their lands and those vary from state to state. states that grant more right can acquire more revenue, because it
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gives more flexibility to the person who is grazing. in the case of the federal government, there are burdensome regulations. there are third-party challenges. there's compliance issues. more of a command and control structure. so it's just not worth as much financially because of the tremendous paperwork and burden involved. therefore there are reasons for those differences. mr. chairman, the amendments we are proposing have nothing to do with it but off commonsense solutions to very important gazing issues. i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from wyoming. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in part a of house report 113-340. for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho seek recognition?
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mr. labrador: lab i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in house report 113-340 offered by mr. labrador of i had hee. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 472, the gentleman from idaho, mr. labrador and a member opposed each will control five minutes. mr. labrador: i rise in support of my amendment title 8 which i originally introduced. my amendment is a commonsense reform to require groups who are not substantially justified or directly affected by final federal grazing decisions to pay for the legal expenses of the other party when they lose in court. in short, this is a loser-pay system to discourage frivolous legal challenges to federal land management decisions. federal law gives the right to a hearing in connection with grazing decisions and gives the interested public the
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opportunity to participate. however, it is doubtful that congress ever intended to elevate the interested public to a level of equal standing to that of grazing permiteys. had 5, the bureau -- regulations that surpassed the intent of congress. some participated in the appeals process allowing them to sue if they disagreed with a final grazing decision. since then, environmental groups have been increasingly abuse the current appeals process not to promote environmental health but for the sole reason of removing livestock from federal lands. each years, thousands of appeals are filed. the cost to ranchers can hardly be measured. in a recent case in wyoming, an appeal cost a small group of ranchers in $125,000 in administrative appeals and attorney fees.
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my amendment addresses the intent of congress who may appeal and may litigate a decision. heed to the groups. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i think the gentleman's amendment to this piece of legislation is an important policy step. in fact, i think loser pay ought to apply to a much larger area and i know the gentleman's amendment only deals with grazing but the example he cited in wyoming where it cost somebody $125,000 and with the volatility of the markets, that a big expense on individuals and i think this will help curb that in the future. i congratulate the gentleman for his amendment and i support it and i yield back. mr. labrador: i reserve.
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. the chair: the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. i seek time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. grijalva: this would limit judicial review on those who have an interest on grazing on our public lands. this amendment attempts to -- with incentives, negative incentives to the public, limit the public from challenging federal action on grazing decisions by making them pay the prevailing party's legal fees. like i mentioned before, all federal taxpayers are on the hook for subsidizing grazing on federal lands. therefore, all citizens of this country should have the opportunity to challenge the decisions that have affect on their public lands. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from arizona reserves. the gentleman from idaho is recognized. mr. labrador: mr. speaker, i agree that everyone has a right to sue but if you lose i think you should pay and this
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amendment will allow federal land managers to get back to managing lands, create greater certainty and help those in the west. this will save countless dollars spent by ranchers who are forced to defend against these nuisance suits and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, grazing on public lands, grazing has impacts on ublic lands like no other use. and it's important that we consider these impacts through the nepa process and through judicial review, both that's being struck from that process today. you know, steam rolling and eliminating judicial review and the public process in reference to east germany and centralized government and thought control, once we begin to limit the public and the individual's
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access to redress through the courts by action of this congress, it is a dangerous, not only precedent, but a dangerous step in public transparency, but more important, in the public's right to know. and with that i reserve the balance of my time. i yield back the remainder of our time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from idaho. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. he amendment is not agreed to. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceed rgs on the amendment offered by the gentleman from idaho will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in house report 113-340. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mcclintock: i have an
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amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in part a of house report 113-340 offered by mr. mcclintock of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 472, the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. mcclintock: mr. speaker -- mr. chairman, last august a fire destroyed 400 square miles in the sierra nevadas. it left behind thousands of feet of board tim kerr ber that can still be salvaged. within the year, timber loses much of its value. yet, the current environmental review process takes a year to complete and then litigation starts and runs out the clock on what remains of that perishable resource. 16,000 acres of the destroyed timbers on private land owned by sierra pacific industries, it does not face the bureaucratic obstacles that we face on the public land.
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s.p.i. is halfway through its salvage. it will be done by the summer. they'll use half of the proceeds to replant the savaged areas. the earliest the forest service can conclude its environmental review is august, and then the litigation process will start and then it will be too late. the cost will be hundreds of jobs, millions of dollars of lost economic activity, millions of dollars of lost salvage revenues that could otherwise be used by the federal government for reforestation of the public lands. title 9 of the bill in its current form was based on bipartisan language introduced by senator tom daschle to expedite satisfy vadge in the black hills national forest but these provisions were opposed from the other side of the aisle. so i sat down with the forest service and opposition offices to work out a process that will assure that salvage can begin by spring while maintaining both environmental and judicial review. i particularly wrant to thank
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chief tom tid well for his -- tidwell for his technical assistance and that of his office. it authorizes the forest service to select acreage for salvage where there is no wilderness, e.s.a., historic or other legal restrictions. it implements the draft e.i.c. that's supposed to be done by april. this will allow salvage to begin under their direction in april. it authorizes the forest service to modify the draft e.i.s. in response to public comment and allows for judicial review of the final e.i.s. based on ecological impacts. it merely bars litigation based on process and bars temporary restraining orders. this will allow the timely salvage portion of the public lands destroyed by the fire while the final e.i.s. is prepared and while any judicial review proceeds. and finally, it authorizes the forest service to use the millions of dollars raised by the salvage for forest
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restoration in the devastated sierra. this compromised language assures compliance with all environmental laws and maintains judicial review while assuring that salvage can begin this spring. it's also important to the economy of the region that's been devastated by the fire and by increasingly stringent federal restrictions and land acquisitions that have ravaged the timber, livestock, mineral and tourist industries upon which these mountain communities depends. it means thousands of jobs for lumberjacks, millworkers. mr. hastings: if the gentleman will yield? mr. mcclintock: yes, i'll yield. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i just want to stay i think this amendment adds to what he's attempting to do, because the issue of salvage and the timeliness of that is something that's lost on a lot of people so i congratulate the gentleman for not only for the title in the bill but for the amendment and i intend to support it and i yield back to the gentleman. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman reserves.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? mr. grijalva: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. since the rim fire burned over 200 acres in the california's sierra nevada mountains in august of last year, mr. mcclintock has expressed an interest in expedited salvage logging operations in the burned area. the language he's offered to achieve this goal keeps evolving, in my opinion, keeps getting better. unfortunately, i still cannot support this amendment. the latest version of h.r. 3188. since the fire, the forest service has engaged in an extensive planning effort that includes salvage operations where they are deemed appropriate. the planning effort is ongoing and the amendment seeks to force a decision before it's complete. the amendment references the proposed action that predates the issuance of the draft environmental impact statement. the draft e.i.s. is due out in april. until then, we should allow the public process to end before
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backing the forest service into a corner with a mandated decision. otherwise, we take away the opportunity for public input and the ability for the forest service to examine the economic feasibility of salvage operations, potential damage to wildlife and other consequences. c.q. has already approved an expedited process for the e.i.s. that includes a shortened timeline for the comment period and eliminates notification requirements. the forest service is working diligently to advance appropriate restoration. the amendment still mandates salvaged logging in areas where it might not be appropriate while waiving federal environmental standards. taking nepa out of the picture will not end up in more logging or less lawsuits. supporters of this amendment understands this is the case. that's why the amendment weighs a bevy of our -- waives a bevy
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of other environmental laws, including the endangered species act. the sierra nevada provides california with clean water, fish, habitat and recreation. indiscriminant salvage logging threatens these treasured forests. additionally, the amendment limits judicial review. this still a huge sticking point. salvage logging is extremely controversial and we should not take away any tools available for the public to be able to weigh in on these critical decisions. supporters of this amendment argue that the objection process is overused and abused, but it's there to make sure that everybody has a voice in the process. i oppose this amendment. i urge my colleagues to oppose its adoption and, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of our time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mcclintock: mr. chairman, if the opposition prevails, the sierra 400 square miles of it anyway, will be consigned to scrub brush and disease for
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generations to come. we've bent over backwards with the opposition to work out this compromise and their continued opposition is quite disappointing. i repeat, time is of the essence. i beg the senate and the democrats to take up these provisions without further delay. these provisions will developed with the full input of the administration and democratic offices, but they're still not acceptable, then tell us what is. but please don't just sit there and do nothing. the forest service estimates feet can illion board be processed a day. a quarter million dollars of federal revenue is lost. that's more than to reforest 3,000 acres every day. every day we don't do this we salvage jobs, the deteriorates and the window will start to close before the lit division begins under law.
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the private lands destroyed by the fire will be replanted a few years from now. they'll host a thriving young forest. if we don't change current law now, the public lands will remain unsalvaged and the millions of dollars we could have raised for reforestation will have been forfeit, dry brush and dead trees will be the legacy of the sierra that we leave our children. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. the forest service, as we speak, is prepared to -- is preparing to authorize salvage operations on 30,000 of the 154,000 burned acres. and a decision is due -- and a decision is due early as august. i said earlier, salvage logging is not without controversy and the decision to operate these activities need to be fully analyzed and fully transparent. many colleges believe that postfire landscapes are an essential proponent of
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essential ecological circumstances. rushing to allow rin discriminant salvage operations threatens the overall health of the forest. the planning process is ongoing, under expedited emergency provisions set out by c.q. our national forests are more than timber factories and we have a public planning process that ensures all uses and benefits are considered. this bill ignores that process and that is why i repeat opposition to the amendment and yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in part a of house report 113-340. for what purpose does the gentleman from alaska seek recognition? mr. young: i have an amendment at the desk, mr. speaker. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5
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printed in part a of house report 113-340 offered by mr. yuck of alaska. -- mr. young of alaska. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 472, the gentleman from alaska, mr. young, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from alaska. . mr. young: 160 acres of federal land, approximately 208 alaska natives served in the military during the vietnam war and because of their absence they didn't apply for their native allotment. 1998 congress passed a law that a loud veterans to obtain an allotment. one of my constituents applied for an allotment in accordance with this law. during the war he served honorly in the air force. he is a lifetime resident of st. mary's, alaska, mostlies ki
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most. his family has a long family and helped settle the area and operated the first general store. he was a member of the territorial guard. military reserve component of the u.s. army organized in 1942. following a t.b. outbreak in 1954, mr. williams was sent to a boarding school in southeast alaska with many other children. as a vietnam war escalated, he graduated from one of the schools and promptly enlisted in the us air force. he left his wife and two children and headed to southeast asia. during the war, the sergeant served in thailand preparing aircraft on their way to strike north vietnam. upon the completion of his service, mr. williams returned home where he invested himself in his village and continued to grow and raise his family. mr. williams continues to serve
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as mayor of his community. in 2002, he applied for gnat i have alaska veterans allotment. following the vetting process in 2009, the bureau of land management deeded him two 80-acre parcels in the yukon wildlife refuge. he transported lumber and supplies. spent countless hours clearing trees and brush and built a small fish camp. out of a blue, the fish and wildlife service realized errors had been made and b.l.m. both in surveying and application of the approval process. instead of being located in a general refuge lands, the two parcels were located within a ongresses shale -- federal land. similarly making improvements to
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the land, construction of the cabin, clearing trees. as a result, the b.l.m. canceled the deed to the two parcels plunging this native veteran and status of his cabin into a state of limbo. williams contacted me for assistance. to their credit, they admitted they and the fish and wildlife service screwed up. they also admitted they couldn't fix their mistakes administratively and attempt to resolve the issue, they offered two parcels of equal-sized land elsewhere. while he agreed to accept one of the replacement parcel, a second parcel excluded his cabin. my amendment today would approve his application with the second original parcel and saving his cabin and fish camp. though two federal agencies are at fault, my constituent is being forced to bear the full cors of their errors. the purpose is my amendment to
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obtain the parcel with the cabin on it with no cost to the taxpayer. this was adopted by voice vote when the senate held their markup of which the house version included in today's package. i'm no proponent of the fact that federal government where it owns 60% of my state. i generally oppose wilderness areas. i have an adverse relationship with the federal land management agencies. this amendment is not to make a statement against wilderness designation but fix the unique issue for a vietnam veteran. fixing issues is what we do well when we are sent to washington. he served his country. and he deserves similar treatment from this country in return. i hope you join me in fixing
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this unfortunate mistake to support this simple amendment to h.r. 2954. and i reserve the balance of my time. -- i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. if no member is seeking opposition, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from alaska. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: i move that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee do now rise. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it, the motion is adopted. accordingly, the committee rises.
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pifment mr. chairman. the chair: the committee of the whole house having had under consideration h.r. 2954 directs me to report it has come to no resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the chair reports the committee has had under consideration h.r. 2954 and has come to no resolution. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 11:15 a.m. today.
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>> thanks, mr. chairman. the key issue we're referring to is district court case out of colorado, as you suggested, and if that case the plaintiff was challenging the postal regulation which bans the carry of guns on all postal property. he was a person licensed to carry a firearm. the district court determined hat our regulation was not unconstitutional, unconstitutional insofar as it prohibited guns into postal
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property but the judge did determine that with regard to the postal parking lot in this particular post office with regard to only this plaintiff that our restriction was viola it tive of the second amendment. we are appealing it to the united states court of appeals for the 10th district as he's appealing the determination of the judge of carrying guns in the post office is constitutional. >> all right. thanks for that clarification. can you just give us the perspectives of the postal service on this underlying amendment, please? >> thank you, mr. chairman. our postal inspectors who are response responsible for the fety and security of all postal facilities strongly believe that the current policy should remain in effect. they are concerned about encouraging any additional
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security measures. they are concerned about the safety of our employees. they believe that given the 32,000 facilities it's going to cost them additional resources to go through every one of those facilities and make sure that they are safe and security. the administrative burdens on the postal inspectors, from their point of view, is going to make it very difficult on them. so the third factor is, as you know, there has been some history of violence with regard to postal facilities, and i think for the safety and security of both our customers and our employees we believe that our current policy should remain in effect. >> mr. chairman, may i make a comment? >> yes, please. >> i think this illustrates, you know, why we need this amendment. the post offices are opposed to allowing guns in their
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peculiarities or their facilities and they are -- in their parking lots and their facilities and they are appealing it. it's still a question and the people should weigh in on this through the representatives. i think also it might be noted that the history of violence at post offices has not been from citizens coming into the post office but has been committed by postal employees. >> ok. what i'd like to do at this point in time is to offer -- is there any discussion, any further discussion on this? >> i had one other point, if you wouldn't mind. as far as this amendment i offered, this amendment is supported by the n.r.a., the national association of gun rights and the gun owners of america. all three groups also will oppose an attempt to strike this language. any attempt to replace it with a study will be opposed by the national rifle association, gun owners of america, national association of gun rights and this will be seen as a vote,
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whether it's a vote to replace, this will be seen as a vote as to whether or not you support law-abiding citizens' right to carry a gun in a parking lot. this is a big deal throughout a lot of particularly rural america where we have people who do go hunting and might inadvertently show up in a parking lot. i'm not willing to let this wait to go to the supreme court. i am not willing to let a kentuckian be fined or arrested to show up in a parking lot with a rifle or shotgun in their truck. this is a big deal and i hope everybody will see it as such. a replacement effort will be seen against law-abiding gun owners in america. >> mr. chairman. >> senator levin. >> the department of justice, are they represented here today because i know they have major concerns with this amendment? many of them being issues of construction, are they represented here today? i know the postal service's
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position has been clear. i think we need to understand, however, that the opinion of the judge was that the parking lot is one thing, but inside of a federal building is another thing. the former in that case being unconstitutional for a gun to of estricted but in terms inside buildings it is constitutional. this amendment does not make any such distinction. i think for us to proceed to adopt this amendment on this bill at this time rather than leaving it for the floor and hopefully getting the justice department opinion on this would be a mistake. >> one other point, though, is that the post office is appealing even allowing them in the parking lot. so we have the full force of the post office appealing and saying they don't want you to have your shotgun even in your car in the post office parking lot. so that's what we are talking about. we're not saying all of a
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sudden the courts say it's ok. what we're saying the post office is appealing and say they don't you to have a gun in the parking lot or inside. that's what we're voting on. >> no, we're not voting on the parking lot, so i'll be clear on that because both sides appealed in the court opinion. the postal service appealed on the question of the parking lot, but this amendment is not limited to parking lot. . the plaintiff in that case, the citizen is appealing the decision of the court that inside federal buildings that this kind of restriction is constitutional and this amendment would reverse that. from think we should hear the justice department formally on this. we need to hear from the justice department on this matter. we ought to leave this to the floor and have some kind of review on this by interested persons, perhaps a hearing, but in any event, not adopt this at
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this time. anyone else? >> i want to call up a second degree amendment that i will be offering in response to senator paul's amendment. when i was a kid growing up in virginia, my dad would take me hunting. my grandfather as well when we were back in west virginia. and i remember any number of times going hunting in the morning or coming back later in the day, we would put our shotguns in the back of our car and stopped at convenience stores and get something to eat or maybe something else we needed to buy. and when i first heard about the parking lot amendment, i thought about those experiences with my dad and thought about well, what if we stopped at a post office
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on the way home from spending a day hunting. i'm glad that case is being heard in the courts and i think there is a very narrow interpretation that's been described by senator paul and the postal service and now it's going to be heard by the circuit court of appeals. i agree with senator levin, the amendment offered by senator paul goes well beyond the parking lot. and my strong inclination for us not to get ahead of the courts, let the circuit court of appeals hear the case and have the input among others in the department of justice but frankly the district court judge decided the right thing. i have spent a number of years in my life trying to improve the finances of the postal service and trying to make sure they are just not able to survive, but to -- and not to be relevant but to
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be robust and meet the needs of communities across the country. dr. coburn has been a great help . in addition, the postal service must continue to manage some 33,000 post offices throughout the country and that includes trying to ensure the safety of its employees, its customers, its property and the u.s. mail at each of these 33,000 facilities. and while our committee has focused on the financial health and the caliber of service that the postal service offers i think all of us would agree ensuring the physical safety of the postal employees, its customers and the mail should be also be a top priority. senator paul has offered this amendment to essentially allow the carrying of firearms on postal property so long as the
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individual is abiding by state laws. the postal service maintains that the current regulation firearms on postal property except for official purposes preserves and promotes public safety and in the best interest of its customers and employees. my view is this. how could we vote on something when we haven't heard a minute of testimony from a single expert or consulted relevant federal law enforcement agencies particularly on an issue of this magnitude? i don't believe we should end decades of settled law without at least studying the issue. i would urge us to commit to studying the issue to commit voting without having the facts in front of us while the issue of parking lots goes forward before the federal courts.
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i would offer a second degree amendment to paul amendment number 3. i would like to offer a modified version of my second degree amendment that was circulated this morning. the modification makes clear that the postal service must immediately begin implementing any changes recommended in the reports. let me say that again. the modification makes clear that the postal service must immediately begin implementing any changes recommended in the reports. this amendment would have a group of experts look at this issue before realming what, if any changes to current law would be prudent. the amendment requires the u.s. postal service inspection service, bureau of tobacco, alcohol and firearms, department of homeland security and department of justice submit a report to the post master general in the committees of jurisdiction in the house and senate regarding the security changes, if any, that may need to be made across the country should the carrying of firearms
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consistent with state law be allowed on postal properties or inside post offices. my amendment then requires the post master general to submit a report with the cost estimates for implementing any of the recommended security changes and whether these security changes would necessitate facility closures or relocations. the post master general would be required to make recommendations regarding the feasibility to address the lawful carrying of firearms on personal properties or in post offices and how that would impact the safety of postal employees, customers, property and the u.s. mail. i would not want to take a vote on any amendment without having all the facts under which senator paul's amendment. we don't have that much to go at this time. we need to know the consequences of public safety and the postal service finances before
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proceeding to a vote on the underlying amendment. and i would ask my colleagues to support my amendment requiring a study on this issue. again the modification that we have made makes clear that the postal service must immediately begin implementing any changes recommended in the reports. >> mr. chairman -- >> one difficulty that i have with your second degree amendment is that you are giving the post office authority that congress ought to have when you tell them to begin implementing immediately whatever they find out in their study. we have no assurance that anybody from congress is going to have capability on that committee and have no idea where that study might go. it might be more difficult than the present language. so with that caveat in it, having some difficulty and i appreciate that when you went to the post office, you put your guns in the trumping of the car,
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but i come from a part of the country that don't have a trunk, it's called a pickup. >> i appreciate you offering this modification. i also appreciate senator paul's amendment, what he's trying to do here. i would just say this, i think -- i'm a strong support of the second amendment and i got more guns than i need and i want some more. there are some places where guns are not appropriate. this building, it would not be appropriate to have a gun in and if there are issues with post office, i don't think it would be appropriate. the parking lot is a different issue, because in rural america, there are a lot of folks, senator enzi knows this, they might be hunting govers and has a gun in their pickup and it's just a tool to do their work
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with. and we don't have the opportunity to vote for this, i would allow to vote to have guns in the parking lot, but not in the post office. >> any more comments? if not, i'm going to ask the clerk to call the roll on carper mendment number 2 as modified. [senator levin. > aye. roll call] >> senator tester.
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senator baldwin. senator coburn. senator mccain. senator johnson. senator portman. senator paul. enator enzi. enator carper. >> the yeas are eight, the nays are five. vote by proxy, the yeas are one and nays are one. the yeas are nine and noes are
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five and amendment is agreed to. >> next thing is to proceed with a vote on paul -- is there any comment? >> yes, mr. chairman. the amendment that we will be voting on is the primary amendment and i would like to propose a second degree amendment to the primary amendment and this would be amendment three as modified. >> suspend for just a moment, please.
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>> we are watching some of the markup of the postal reform act. this is senate homeland security and government affairs committee meeting this morning on capitol hill. the session is still under way, but taking a bit of a break here. here in c-span we are going back to the u.s. house and will gavel resume consideration of a combined measure dealing with public lands access, restoration and land access. and we expect a number of amendment votes and final passage coming up. the senate is in today and will later today vote on an amendment to an expanded unemployment
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insurance program expanding it for three months. amendment of jack reed of rhode island. that vote set for 2:00 p.m. eastern and may take up the nomination of max bachus to be ambassador to china.
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>> senator paul, i think i said at the last markup, this -- it's my first opportunity to chair a markup of a major bill. >> we'll bake away here. committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 2954, which the clerk will report by title.
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the clerk: a bill to authorize escandia county, florida, convey certain property that was formerly part of a national monument and that was conveyed to the county subject to restrictions and use and reconveyance. the chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier today, amendment number five printed in part a of the house report 113- 340, offered by the gentleman from alaska, mr. young, had been disposed of. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in part a of house report 113-340 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment number one by mr. grijalva of arizona. amendment number three by mr. lab rah tore of idaho. the chair will reduce to two minks the time for any electron
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exvote after the first vote in this series. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on amendment number one printed in rt a of house report 113-134 on113-140, by mr. gi hall va which the proceedings were post-pobed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: nermentaurm fun one printed in house report 113-340, offered by mr. grijalva of arizona. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of
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representatives.]
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the chair: on this vote, the yeas are 190rk the nays are 2 -- are 190, the nays are 224. the amendment is not adopted. the unfinished business is the request for a recorded vote on amendment number three printed in part a of house report 113-340 by the gentleman from idaho, mr. labrador, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will dezres. -- redez egg nate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number three printed in house report 113-340, offered by mr. labrador of idaho. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for a recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a two-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives.
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any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the chair: the yeas are 218 and the nays are 198. the amendment is adopted. the question is on the amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. accordingly, under the rule, the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: mr. speaker the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had under
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consideration h.r. 2954. pursuant to house resolution 472, i report the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has under consideration the bill h.r. 2954 and pursuant to house resolution 472 reports the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. under the rule, the previous question is ordered. is a separate vote demanded on any amendments to the amendment reported from the committee of the whole? if not, the question is on the adoption of the amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. those in favor say aye. . those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to authorizes
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camia authority to convey certain property that was part of santa rosa national monument subject to use and reconveyance. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. he house will be in order. he house will be in order. is the gentleman opposed to the bill? mr. barber: mr. speaker, i'm opposed to the bill in its current form the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk: mr. barber of arizona moves to recommit the bill h.r. 2954 to the committee on natural resources with instructions to report same back to the house
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with the following amendment. add at the end of the bill, the following, title 11, payments in lieu of taxes, section 1101, payments in lieu of taxes for fiscal years 2015 through 2020, authorized to appropriated such terms as may be necessary for payments to counties and other eligible units of government pursuant to section 5906 of title 31 united states code, also known as the payment in lieu of taxes program. title 12, protecting communities from wildfire, section 1201, protecting communities from wildfire. in addition to amounts previously made available they are hereby authorized to be appropriated, $50 million to the fund established under section 502-b of the federal lands and enhancement act of 2009. for wildfire suppression on
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public lands and 2, $50 million for hazardous fuel reduction on public lands. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: i reserve a point of order against the motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: point of order is reserved. the house will be in order. members, please take your seat or remove your conversation from the house floor. the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. mr. barber: mr. speaker, this is the final amendment to the bill which will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. if adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amended. as my colleagues in this chamber know well, the payment in lieu of taxes program is a source of revenue for counties across our country especially in rural areas of the united states.
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like cochise coinlt in southern arizona that have large areas of federal land within their boundaries -- >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. please remove your conversations from the house floor. the house will be in order. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. barber: without the program, many counties would be forced to cut services. delay infrastructure maintenance and improvement and local jobs would be lost. while i joined many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support re-authorizing the program for one year in the farm bill, this is but a short-term solution. my amendment would re-authorize the payment in lieu of taxes program for five years by committing to re-authorize the program today, we can give our
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communities who depend on these funds the long-term certainty they need. in fact we should be thinking to authorize this fund as a mandatory fund. 5 million ilot meant $ cochise pima and counties. >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house will be in order. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. barber: it was reported for the critical need for pilt calling the potential loss of $1.98 million to the county that the county received in 2013. this would be a significant blow to the county, the paper said. >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct.
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please remove your conversation from the house floor. the house is not in order. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. barber: this is an important issue to all of us particularly those in rural parts of our country and i appreciate your attention to the matter. lack of pilt funding, the board of supervisors said places a large and unsustainable burden of providing services on federal land squarely on the backs of the taxpayers while the presence of that land creates a barrier to economic opportunities. failure, the board said, to provide pilt funding to arizona counties, will impact on the budget process, and substantially compromise the county's ability to provide these essential services. cochise county are required to
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provide law enforcement, search and rescue missions, emergency services, road building and maintenance and other community services on or associated tax-exempt federal land. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this amendment so we can say to cochise county in southern arizona and you can say to people of your state particularly those in rural counties that we won't make them wait and worry about whether or not they will have the resources to provide these critical services in the future. mr. speaker, my amendment also goes on to provide much needed funding to fight wildfires across this nation. arizona knows all too well, the horrific effects wildfires have on our communities. last summer, our state was devastated by the yarnell hill fire that swept -- >> the house is not in order.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. he house will be in order. he gentleman is recognized. >> mr. barber: i'm talking about how the fire swept across our district, it killed firefighters who died in the line of duty. these tragic fires are not unique to our state of arizona. every year communities across our nation face filed wires -- face wildfires that destroy their land and livelihoods. given the history one month into this year i know this is an issue on the minds of all my colleagues in the california delegation as well. two summers ago, my district in southeastern arizona endured the horseshoe fire. on may 8, 2011, the horseshoe 2
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fire started on the east side of the mountains, near the community of portal. the fire continued to burn steadily heading to the northwest and on june , the fire reached the national monument, burning into the southeast corner of the park. it was finally ex-ting westerned 223,000 acres nd were burned. we were lucky that summer in southeastern arizona that there was no loss of life this amendment would authorize $50 million to the federal land maintenance and enhancement act for wildfire suppression in our public lands and $50 million for hazardous fuel reduction this funding is key to fighting catastrophic fires, wildland fires and successfully manage fires strategies across our nation. i ask my colleagues again on both sides of the aisle to join with me in supporting pilt and these critical wildfire programs for our local communities and
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the people we represent by passing this motion to recommit. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: i withdraw my reservation on the point of order. the speaker pro tempore: the reservation is withdrawn. mr. hastings: sometimes i have to wonder when i hear the motions to recommit what exactly my friends on the other side of the aisle are thinking. there's two points, mr. chairman, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order. the house will be in order. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. hastings: i have to wonder what my friends on the other side of the aisle are thinking with these motions to recommit. the first part of the motion to recommit talks about payment in lieu of taxes, pilt. western part the
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of the united states understand that. last week we funded pilt in the farm bill. where was everybody? i voted for it. where was everybody? that was funded. second point. pilt is permanently authorized. permanently authorized. all we have to do now is get the appropriators to fund it and they'll go through their due deliberations. there's no reason for this motion to recommit as it relates to pilt. and secondly, as regards to fighting fires, if i remember correctly, last year, we passed the healthy forest bill but a majority of the people on the other side of the aisle voted no. now we come down here with crocodile tears saying we have to fund fighting forest fires. if you voted for a healthy forest in the first place it would have resolved the problem. this m.t.r. is not worthy of passage. vote no on the m.t.r., yes on final passage. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
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without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on the motion to recommit. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. mr. barber: i request the yeas and nays, the recorded vote please. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rizz. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, this five-minute vote on motion to recommit will be followed by a five minute vote on passage of the bill if ordered, and on approval of the journal, if ordered. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 194 -- the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 194, the nays are 222. the motion is not adopt the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. >> mr. speaker. on that i would like a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote
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will rise. a sufficient number having risen a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 220. the nays are 194. the bill is passed.
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without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval to the journal which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye, those opposed, no. the ayes have it and the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that in the engrossment of h.r. 2954, the clerk may make technical and conforming changes and that the amendment to page 7, line 17, referred to the first usage of decision on that line. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition?
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mr. hoyer: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purposes of inquiring of the majority leader the schedule for the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. and i now yield to mr. cantor, the majority leader, for the recitation of the schedule. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i thank my friend from maryland, the democratic whip, for yielding. on monday the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on tuesday, the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business. and on wednesday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. last votes of the week are expected no later than noon to accommodate the democratic
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members' issues retreat. on thursday and friday, no votes are expected in the house. mr. speaker, the house will consider a few suspensions next week, a complete list of which will be announced by close of business tomorrow. in abigs, mr. speaker, the house -- in addition, mr. speaker, the house will consider h.r. 3193, the consumer financial protection and soundness improvement act, authored by representative sean duffy. this bill reforms the bureau of consumer of financial protection to make the bureau accountable to hardworking american taxpayers. mr. speaker, as you know, the debt limit borrowing authority runs out as early as the end of this month. therefore, i expect action to avoid default as soon as possible. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information. i -- the gentleman ends with the observation that you expect action to avoid default as soon as possible. as you know, mr. leader, very well, as we all know, beginning tomorrow the treasury department will have to start
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using extraordinary measures because the authorization for the debt limit to be extended will end on the 7th. secretary lew has written to all of us and warned us that on monday, stating that, quote, time is short, and insection could cause harm to our economy, rattle financial markets and hurt taxpayers. i know that my friend has made similar comments, as i have made similar comments. we agree on this proposition. ut i am concerned that we only have seven legislative days scheduled for the rest of the month, does the gentleman expect that we will take up or down vote on a clean debt limit extension next week or before the end of this month, and i yield to my friend? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, as i indicated in my remarks just prior, i would say to the gentleman that i'm confident that the united states is not going to default on its debt and that we will resolve the
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need to increase the borrowing authority of this country prior to any deadline that the treasury issues. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i appreciate that information. want to say that the debt limit extension will have, mr. leader, i want to give you the information, in my view well over 180 votes on our side of the aisle so that if that is a clean debt limit so that america can pay its bills, default is not a risk, as the gentleman indicates we don't want it to be and as the speaker indicated it would be solved long before we would come to any deadline precipitating another crisis and undermining confidence. i want to tell the gentleman, the majority leader, that i will assure him that if we get
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a clean debt limit extension on the floor that democrats will work with him and his party to pass that in a way that we have a significant majority for that bill. . mr. leader, i was encouraged to see last week at your retreat that the house republicans put forward a set of principles for immigration reform and expressed a readiness to discuss how to fix our broken immigration system. i'm sure you've seen the response on my side of the aisle, not only from the president but from myself and the lead -- and from leader pelosi, it's been positive. we see the step that was been taken as positive steps. we do look forward to working together on these principles. we were just somewhat disappointed, however, that one of your members, raul labrador
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of idaho, was quoted yesterday as saying there was overwhelming support for the idea of doing nothing. this year. it's a mistake to have an internal bat until year about immigration. i would hope that mr. labrador's remarks do not lead us to a place where we will either not proceed or to pass immigration reform on this floor. the majority leader has indicated in some of our colloquies that he believes the immigration system is broken. again, we share that view and i think almost all members share the view that the immigration system is not working as intended. there have been four bills passed out of judiciary, another one out of homeland security, homeland security was essentially unanimous in terms of dealing with security. we have introduced as the majority leader knows, h.r. 15 which is a compilation of
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bipartisanly passed senate bill provisions dropping the border security provision and inserting the border security passed out of the republican-led homeland security committee, i think by unanimous vote, maybe it was by voice vote, i would hope that we could therefore move forward and that mr. labrador's observation that there was overwhelming support for the idea of doing nothing this year would not be the prevalent view. we will again be ready to discuss this and i can tell you that the overwhelming majority of my party, as the gentleman, i think, knows, would vote for the senate bill, we don't think the senate bill is perfect, we'd like to see a house bill, we've introduced a house bill, we'd like to consider it on the floor and i might chose with -- close
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with this observation with reference to immigration. i'm sure the gentleman read the comments of former speaker dennis hastert, and i quote him, the house will act in its own way, as it should. but it should act soon. immigration reform is necessary for our economic recovery. again, this is former speaker dennis hastert of illinois. he goes on to say, first, securing our borders so we know who is entering our country and for what purpose. i think there's a unanimous consensus that that needs to be addressed. second, speaker hastert said, a legalization of those folks who are already here, again, i think that there is a consensus on that. we should provide, he goes on to say, provide them with a path to citizenship much like any other immigrant would have. apparently there's not necessarily consensus on that but we do have consensus on the first proposition. he goes on to say, these --
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these two things being satisfied, i believe immigration reform can move forward. it will make us economically stronger, it's politically smart, and morally right. that was quoted in politico on february 2, words of former speaker hastert. i would hope and i know the gentleman has been very constructive in his comments that we could move forward together reaching some agreement so we could see comprehensive legislation on the floor consistent with the principles of both parties and we could come together and pass some legislation. i yield to the gentleman as to the prospects of doing. so mr. cantor: i think the gentleman knows we have been on this floor before and i have said that we believe in the majority that the system, immigration system of this country is broken. there needs to be reform. i think i've also said to the gentleman, as i've said publicly this week, we have to go about a
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rebuilding of the trust here, the -- i think the fundamental issue right now is there is doubt cast on this white house, this president this administration's willingness to implement the laws given the track record we have seen on laws like obamacare and others. and i have said to the gentleman, i believe that reform is badly needed. i believe that we've got a situation at the border and the interior that needs to be fixed. the gentleman knows i've been very outspoken on the issue of kids and the fact that so many are here unbeknownst to themselves, brought here and know no other place as home and then stuck. without any sense of the fact that they'll be accepted in the country they know. but before we can even get there, there needs to be some trust. there needs to be some trust built by this president with
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this congress. because it seems that the track record is full of examples of the white house and the administration picking and choosing in terms of the regulations, the laws, and the provisions that it wants implemented. if it doesn't like to implement one, it will just seemingly ignore that. and i don't think that the gentleman agrees that that's the way that this system was designed or that our framers had in mind in terms of equal branches of power, one that makes the law, one that fully and faithly executes the laws and obviously a judiciary that provides that extra check and balance. so again i say to the gentleman, i would ask, if he's talking with the white house, to please ask them to begin to work with us on any number of things to demonstrate that they're willing to actually drive toward the same results and not just work around us in terms of a
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unilateral result they may seek. i yield back. -- mr. : mr. speaker, labrador, and i'll quote again, said there was overwhelming support for the idea of doing nothing this year. now in light of the fact, mr. speaker, that the observation is that the system is broken, in light of mr. hastert's observations, speaker hastert's observation that it was morally the right thing to do, i will tell you, mr. speaker, i don't -- whatch stock in this i would call a rationalization of trust. mr. speaker, let me remind this house that george bush, president george bush, couldn't get the support of his party for immigration reform. his party rejected president bush on this issue.
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this issue of trust, there are less illegal immigrants having come over the border in the last five years than there were during the bush administration. there have been more people deported in many cases with tragic results of separating families, over the last five years than there were in the bush administration. this is a question of what is morally right to do. to fix a broken system that is breaking apart families, dermining our economy, and abandoning what so many say is the right thing to do. ,o with all due respect to this
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frankly, trying to distract us on this trust issue, this is not a trust issue. this is an issue of law. and the administration's performance both on border security and on enforcing the aw in this respect, a bad law, a law that ought to be changed, a law that's causing families to be torn apart and mr. speaker, i've stood on this floor as chairman of the commission on security and cooperation, with my colleague, frank wolfe and i believe mr. cantor perhaps has been in some of these discussions himself, when we were dealing with the soviet union about keeping families ogether. so i will tell my friend, mr. speaker, that this is not a matter of trust. this is a matter of whether the house of representatives is going to do what speaker hastert has urged us to do, which
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president bush urged us to do, and which i think there is -- there are the votes to do on this floor if a bill is brought to the floor. that accomplishes the principles that both parties have articulated. are there differences? there are some. do we need to resolve that? we do. we need to act. i say with all due respect to my friend the majority leader that i would hope that those principles do not fall by the projectss mr. labrador there's a consensus in your party to allow to happen. so i would urge us to move and urge us to work together on the principles that mr. boehner and yourself have put forward, which we have responded to in a positive way. mr. leader, there are also other business that needs to be done.
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we are -- we continue to be concerned, we were concerned when there were 1.2 million people who have fallen through the cracks and had no help, we now have 1. million americans who have lost their emergency unemployment insurance since december 28. an additional 72,000 will lose their insurance next week. we believe that needs to be addressed. reinstated. as we have done every time that we were in a similar place that we are today in terms of the availability of jobs and the seekers of jobs. secondly, mr. speaker, i would ask the majority lead fer he can give us some view of the sustainable growth rate reimbursement for doctors who give to our senior citizens medical care. that was extended with a
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temporary patch to march 31, mr. speaker. and that needs to be addressed permanently. there is a consensus, i understand, among the committees for -- fixed on that, but there is no pay-for on that. that's always -- it's easy to say we're going to fix. it's difficult to pay for those fixes. and on both of those issues i would ask the gentleman on unemployment insurance and the s.g.r. whether the gentleman has any view on either one of those coming to the floor any time soon. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: this is on both of those issues, obviously there's a lot of work ongoing on the s.g.r. issue, he's exactly right, mr. speaker, it's always the pay for. we saw the struggle that surrounded the recent budget agreement and coming up with $23 million in cost reductions and savings, $23 billion, over 110 years was very difficult and it's hard for folks to imagine
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outside of washington why that is the case when you're dealing with trillions of dollars being spent. and so i share the gentleman's frustration, i would like to see as well as i think the seniors of this country would like to see, an end to a formula that doesn't work in terms of reimbursements to providers and one that will allow for a better way and a more quality health care future for our seniors. so i do share the goal that we should replace the s.g.r. and at the same time ensure that seniors are not going to see a dim ewe in addition in the -- a diminution in in the quality of their care. these issues are ongoing as we speak. as far as the u.i. situation, as the gentleman knows, there's currently six months' of unemployment benefits available to folks who have unfortunately found themselves out of work.
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and we care about those folks and want to do all we can to do what they really want, which is to get back to work and this goes back toward the administration's willingness to work with us. you know, our leadership, mr. speaker, sent a letter to the president last week outlining four things, just four, of the many things that he spoke about in the state of the union address, where frankly there's pretty much agreement on what we need to do together. we've not heard back from the administration. one of those things was the skills act. if we don't want to accept the new norm of chronic unemployment, we ought to be going full time overspeed to try and grow the economy, to increase the competitiveness of the american economy. so people can get back to work. so they can take care of their families. and we know that the chronically unemployed have a real problem because if they are without
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either a high school diploma or college degree, they are at a great disadvantage for today's job opportunities. the skills act can address that. we've not heard, all we've heard is the president wants to once again create another commission to review all the studies that have been combed through before and that have resulted in our bill, ms. foxx of north carolina's bill, the skills act. again, if the administration is so concerned about trying to address the plight of the chronically unemployed, let's go for jobs, not just accepting the new norm. . so discussions, building trust with one another, driving toward result could actually help the situation so that we can address the serious problem that plagues the communities of this country. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. i would say the skills act was
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of course considered on this floor. we could have had a bipartisan bill, and i'd like to see a bipartisan bill. as the majority leader knows, i have been a strong proponent of an agenda that we call make it in america, which wants to expand manufacturing in america. we believe if we expand manufacturing, grow jobs in america, americans are going to be more likely to make it in america. succeed, get a job, be able to support their families so there is i think not disagreement on that. there was disagreement on the skills act. we believe the skills act essentially retreated, retreated in investments. mr. cantor: if the gentleman will yield? mr. hoyer: i'll certainly yield. mr. cantor: thank you, mr. speaker. my point is, mr. speaker, is the president, rather than going acting unilaterally and appointing another commission, could easily have picked up the phone and say, i want to come up there or y'all come down here and let's talk about getting this job done rather than doing what's always done which is kicking the can,
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creating another commission to go over the studies and outcomes of other commissions. that's my point. if you've got differences with the skills act, if the gentleman does, mr. speaker, we understand that. but the bottom line is we both agree we have to improve the outlook for skills for the chroniclely unemployed. aly aren't we -- chronicle unemployed. why aren't we doing that? why isn't there any response from the white house? we can do this. we can work together and achieve results. i understand the disagreements with the skills act. the white house doesn't seem to want to do any of that. i yield back. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i don't think anybody in america believes the white house doesn't wrant to do something about that. the president of the united states talked about it in every one of his state of the unions. he talked about it in this state of the union. he talked about expanding manufacturing and training. so the president has talked
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about it all the time about wanting to invest in giving the skills to american workers that they need to either stay employed or get the kind of skilled jobs that are available in our economy that pay well. there are a number of bills, i will tell the majority leader, in the make it in america agenda that i would love to work with the majority leader on that deal exactly with in a. i have a bill myself -- actually, i think somebody else introduced it, called the jobs bill which is job opportunities between our shores, which is exactly on point of dealing with advanced manufacturers, community colleges and other organizations in cooperation with work investment boards to identify what skills are needed, to invest in training. the gentleman's correct. we all want to do that and we certainly ought to be able to work towards that. he's incorrect in that the president has not only focused on that, he's worked on that.
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the secretary of labor, tom perez, has worked on it. the secretary of commerce, very committed to that and is arne duncan, the secretary of education, and they've all talked about that. so let us work on it. the gentleman talked about he cares a lot about and i think he does, mr. speaker. i absolutely take him at his word. he cares about those people that have been, through no fault of their own, lost their job. work wasn't available. they downsized, whatever. they lost their job. and he said he's concerned about those people, as he should be, as i am, as we all are, but one of the real tragedies is particularly with those folks who are 45 or 50 and above, once they've lost the job, they have a terrible time in this economy finding a job. there are three people looking for every one job that's available.
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and a lot of those people, as the gentleman knows, don't have the skills. so the issue is not just about giving them skills, it is in the interim, do we let them and their families fall through the cracks? fall through a safety net, fall out of the insurance that they paid into, their employer paid into to in the event they lost a job they would not lose the ability to support themselves and put some food on their table? that's why we're so adamant that unemployment insurance be extended. mr. speaker, as i said, it's been extended under every administration with the facts we have today, republican administration, democratic administration, for the reasons that the majority leader pointed out. we care about those people. we're worried about those people. so i would hope that that would
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be on the floor. the s.g.r., let me close by suggesting that there is, as the gentleman knows, an overseas contingency operations account. at -- c.b.o. scores that significantly. the good news is that we are not spending as much money as we were. spent over $1 trillion in the last decade in afghanistan and iraq. better to spend that money in this instance here at home, i would suggest respectfully, that that is one pernt to doing what the gentleman says we all want to do and that is fix the sustainible growth rate on a permanent basis so that doctors -- sustainable growth rate on a permanent basis so that doctors hope that would be available to them. i would hope we look at that alternative and would like to
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see if he has anything further to say, i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet on monday next when it shall convene at noon for morning hour debate and 2:00 for legislative business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. for more than five years the obama administration has played politics with the keystone g.l. pipeline. mr. shuster: a project that's essential to reducing our dependence on foreign oil and progress has been blocked at every turn by the president. more concerned with his popularity with the environmental extremists than
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having opec-free energy. house republicans have joined with members of the labor movement to move this project forward. just last year, i worked through my committee to advance h.r. 3, to approve the keystone pipeline, with congressman lee terry. the house passed the bill back in may of 2003, but once begin we were ignored by the -- again we were ignored by the senate and the president. the final environmental impact statement estimated that keystone x.l. will produce 42,000 jobs and will be safe. president obama talks about wanting to create jobs, improving our economy and strengthening our energy independence. he claims the support of the all-of-the-above energy strategy, but with his stopping the keystone pipeline and his war on coal, he's -- we're losing jobs, we're not strengthening the economy and we're decreasing our ability to become energy independent. mr. president, stop dragging your feet and approve the keystone pipeline and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> i rise to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one inute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise on behalf of the family of sergeant brian lew from chester county, pennsylvania. tragically in the summer of 2012, sergeant lew took his own life. while he at the u.s. embassy station in greece. what happened next was unconscionable. during the course of an autopsy performed by greek authorities, his heart was removed and not returned to his body before it was sent home to his family for a proper burial. mr. meehan: when the greek government finally sent the family a heart, it was not their son's. the d.n.a. testing revealed that it belonged to someone else. mr. speaker, i wrote to the
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commandant of the marine corps in december seeking answers for this young man's family. the response from the pentagon so far has been silence. the lew family deserves answers. they deserve a peace of mind. it's time for the greek authorities and the pentagon to tell sergeant lew's parents what happened to their son's heart, because we know what happened to his family's. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, if i told you we could create tens of thousands of truly shovel-ready jobs, increase the prospects of american energy independence and avoid undue environmental harm, how long would it take you to sign on the dotted line? mr. fitzpatrick: for the president it would take over five years. that's how long the application for the keystone x.l. pipeline has been languishing on his
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desk. in his state of the union address, the president talked about the need to grow jobs and pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy, yet he's failed to take action on a project that does just that. even after the release of a report from his own state department last week, clearly stating there would be little to no negative effect environmentally, the president still will not fake the lead. this project has support from members of both parties as well as the support of both business groups and labor groups. the president said he has a pen. now is the time to use it. approve the keystone x.l. pipeline, get americans to work and truly support a plan for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that sends a message to the rest of the world. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise -- a lot of pennsylvania? >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. thompson: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: mr. speaker,
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oday i rise to recognize the benedict team sisters in st. mary's, pennsylvania, which is located in elk county, pennsylvania, and is the oldest convent in the united states. the benedictine sisters in concert with their federation, will close st. joseph month sear with the remain -- montesary. for more than a year and a half they have grown and flourish. their roles as teachers and school administrators, religious education teachers, hospital administrators, nurses, technicians and dietitians, instructors and promotors of the arts, spiritual providers, citizens and friends, the sisters have greatly impacted the impact of st. mary's. on february 23, 2014, st. mary's is hosting a communitywide celebration to honor and thank the sisters, both living and deceased, for nearly 162 years of service to the community and the region.
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today i join with the community of st. mary's as we celebrate benedictine sisters and offer thanks and appreciation to the sisters for their faithful and dedicated service to the lord. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. culberson of texas for today and mr. ross of florida for food. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question son the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until noon on monday next for morning hour debate.
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>> last week, the state department produced another report showing what we already knew, that there is no reason, scientific or otherwise to block this project any longer.
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once again, because some of the president's friends don't like the idea of the pipeline and the tens of thousands of jobs that would be created, it's not going to happen. that brings me to my final point, immigration. you all know for the last 15 months, i talked about the need to get immigration reform done. this is an important issue in our country and kicked around forever and needs to be dealt with. having said that, we outlined our principles last week to our members. principles that our members by and large support put together by the leadership team and they believe it. but i never underestimated the difficulty in moving forward this year and the reason i have said that we need a step by step commonsense approach is so we can build trust for the american people we are doing this the
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right way and one of the biggest obstacles we face is one of trust. the american people including many of my members don't trust that the reform we are talking about will be implemented as was intended to be. the president seems to change the health care law on a whim whenever he likes. now he is running around the country telling everyone he is going to keep acting on his own, keeps talking about his phone and pen and feeding more distrust about whether he is committed to the rule of law. listen, there is widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws and it's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes. >> mr. speaker, we understand the concerns of your conference on immigration and some of the concerns about how the administration would --
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[inaudible] any reason why you would peel back your attempt? you are going to try to move some pieces of immigration? >> we are going to continue to discuss this issue with our members. but i think the president has to demonstrate to the american people and to my colleagues that he can be trusted to enforce the law as it is written. >> is that the predicate that you have to receive some trust from him. in talking with this with your members ties different than moving a couple of bills on the floor. >> yes, it is. the president is asking us to move one of the biggest bills of his presidency, but yet shown with nwillingness to work us on the smallest of things. we sent a letter to the president about four bills, whether it's the skills act, the
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research bill, a couple of other bills. the president could reach out and work with us on those and begin the process of rebuilding the trust between the american people and his presidency. >> if this legislation stalled until you see something specific? >> we are going to continue to talk about this with our members, but the president is going to have to rebuild the trust so the american people and my colleagues can trust him to enforce the law the way it is written. >> when will we see any proposal on the debt ceiling will get the support of republicans after this week? >> i think we're still looking for the pieces to this puzzle. but listen, we do not want to default on our debt and we are not going to default on our
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debt. we are in discussions with our members how to move ahead and we have time to do this and continue to work at it. no decisions have been made. >> clean debt bill? >> we continue to talk to our members. >> you are trying to put forward the approval of the keystone ipeline and attach it to it. how can you get 218 for keystone. >> mother teresa is a saint, if the congress wanted to make her a saint and get it attached to the bill, we probably couldn't get 218 votes for it. [laughter] >> on the trade bill, apparently as much problem in your caucus as with the democratic caucus nd you wanted the democrats'
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vote in the house, is that true? >> we have broad support in my caucus, but i don't think we have 218 votes for this. the president is going to have to produce some votes. >> mr. speaker, secretary lew said late february the debt limit has to be raised. what do you think the effective date certain actually is and at what point does the house actually have to act on something? >> before late february. i take jack lew at his word. if that's what it is, that's what it is. >> trade legislation, health care legislation appear to be dim and perhaps even dimmer, what is congress going to do this year? >> we have a lot of things on our plate. i think getting the s.g.r.
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extended through the balance of the year or getting a permanent fix to that would be very helpful. we've got issues with flood insurance that we are going to have to deal with. but i do believe that issues like our version of how we would fix the health care insurance system is an important issue. tax reform continues to be an important issue. let me reiterate one point. i have made clear for 15 months the need for the congress and the administration to work together on the issue of immigration reform. it needs to get done. i'm going to continue to talk to my members about how to move forward. but the president is going to have to do his part as well. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] > also a democratic leader
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conference. we covered a hearing on the alleged i.r.s. targeting of conservative groups. asking your thoughts. george left this comment, if the i.r.s. is not able to maintain ana political status, maybe it should be outsourced. >> i think the american public sees the first lady in glamorous events, in a beautiful gown or some speech, but i think what they may not imagined looking at the white house from the outside is that it's actually a very normal life upstairs on those two floors that are the white
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house residence that first ladies probably and i know did probably lie on the couch and read a book, in my case, my cat would always curl up next to me. see it saturday on c-span and live monday our series continues with michelle obama. >> republican congressman joe barton of texas said today this won't be an active legislative congress when it comes to energy policy and republicans would prefer to wait until they have he majority in the senate. senators white house and barrasso also attending.
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>> that was pretty lukewarm applause, i got to tell you. >> give it up for the house energy and commerce committee. >> that's a little better. >> we have a quorum here. thrilled to be joined on the stage. congressman joe barton former commerce f energy and committee and representative did he get. congressman gene green from texas and congressman shimkus from illinois. henry waxman announces his retirement after 20 years. congressman barton you sat across from him that entire time, what are you going to miss most about henry. >> you are assuming i'm going to miss him. [laughter]
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>> there has to be one thing. >> energy and commerce, the democrats put their a-team members on. and john dingell the dean of the house and ed markey, frank pallone, mike doyle, when we debate an issue in the commerce committee and commerce committee is not like any other committee. the ag committee debates ag issues. but energy and commerce, we date it all. when you are up against waxman, he's bright, he's smart, he works hard. he has good staff and he doesn't play games in terms of saying one thing and meaning another. from that standpoint, he will be missed because he is one of the best that served in the house for a long, long time. but from a partisan standpoint, it will be nice to go into committee and not have to debate him, because you know, i won't
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have to have my a-game and depend on some of the junior members of which we have one of the best senior members, mr. shimkus to carry the load. >> the republican conference when they got the news, there was a large cheer? >> i can't comment. i was asleep. >> we do have a big interparty battle that will be coming up here and won't happen until 2015 but we have representative eshoo and frank pallone saying they want to run for the top spot. representative did he get, who do you support? >> gene and i feel the same way, if mr. dingell wants to take back the chairmanship, he certainly is entitled to it. anybody who has listened to him questioning a witness know he is all there and sharp as a task.
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he knows where everybody is and will take advantage of that. i'm waiting to see what mr. dingell will do and i'm ranking member member on the oversight subcommittee and if mr. dingell will not go down i will talk to my friends. and as joe says, wonderful members of congress. >> are you interested in throwing your hat in the ring? >> i'm not going to run for chairman. i respect the minority. >> congressman green, are you leaning towards john dingell? >> he has been a mentor to me and we worked together. my wife and his wife are really good friends. john wants it, i'm with it. >> lost the race with heny -- henry waxman. do you think the democratic conference will support him or still be a race with the others? >> it could be a race but i think john, again his -- when he lost that race, he was a
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gentleman and he has come back and you watch him in the committee questioning, he does not miss a beat. i think he would be a great chair or ranking member. >> he will be chair. >> dream on. [laughter] >> congressman shimkus, what do you think of the departure of congressman waxman and possible elevation of john dingell to ranking member or chair slot. do you think that would change the dynamic? >> henry brings passion to his issues. the thing about henry, you can really fight and you have observed it. and looks like we really don't like each other. people like henry. when we walk around and visit going to and from votes, he is as passionate on his issues as i am on mine. there is a healthy respect and what members have to do on the
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committee, you have to be more than just passionate. you have to have legislative chops to be able to debate why you feel that way. i have learned a lot of what i did in the majority early when we were in the minority, i kept teasing henry, don't be mad, you trained me to be this way. and that's why we were able to come back into the majority but observing how the democrats operated first time when they were in the minority. i have been there quite a long time. >> going to be a different committee in 2015 with waxman and markey gone. it will be interesting to see how the democrats respond. how do you think the committee dynamic is going to look in a year or two? >> we'll pick up some new members on our side of the aisle. if we are in the majority, we'll pick up a lot of new members. but that's the beauty. we don't put new members on it, you have to serve a term or two
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in the house before you can get on the energy and commerce. we want to make sure everyone on there can take that leadership on whatever issue concerns them. i think we'll see a number of new members on just because of the vacancies we have. >> i will say we have a real depth of expertise on our side of the aisle. and i think we will obviously miss henry a great deal. he is a great advocate and he's smart and been there for a long time and with ed markey going to the other body, i think that they will be missed -- >> markey won't return my phone calls. >> that's what happens. >> he was right next to me in the house. we were big buddies, but now he's in the senate. >> we have a real depth on our side of the aisle and i think we'll continue -- >> we are very tight and consider ourselves a family.
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>> your offices used to be next to each other. >> mr. markey and i shared space and when i heard him yelling, i would go over there and calm him down. usually i was yelling because i found out something he was about to do. it worksd out well. >> what are some of the issues, you put it on there, keystone pipeline, house republicans did make a decision not to put keystone as part of the debt limit negotiations. was it votes or sense within the conference? >> i think the clear consensus is that the keystone pipeline wub approved, most of it has been built. the state department once again last week said they had no reason to oppose it. i don't know the exact terminology they used. so i would expect sometime in the near future, the president and the secretary of state will
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approve it. as to why we have not chosen to attach it to the debt ceiling, we being the republican majority, they asked me about it, i want to do stuff on the debt ceiling that reduces the deficits and gets us a balanced budget. keystone pipeline creates jobs but it's really not a debt ceiling type issue. i would vote for it on the debt ceiling, but i don't see something that should be attached. >> congressman shimkus, it should have stayed off and stand alone? >> and i think standing on its own right now and i think the movement is in that direction and administration based upon where they have been, are they going to go with science or they going to go with national interests or going to go with the far left environmental sector of our country.
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and they are in a tough position. we think it's moving in the right direction. so i think that's why we've got other fish to fry in this whole debt limit debate. it's not as pressing and one of these things like health care, how many times do you want to vote to show we support keystone. republicans are on board with that principle, right? >> well, i want to thank the republicans for deciding to come to their senses and act like true adults and not attach the keystone pipeline to an unrelated issue of the debt ceiling. i think that's great and i'm happy to hear my colleagues talking about that. john talks about science and one of my pet peeves in the committee is that we seem to move forward without respect to science. the keystone xl pipeline what
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came out last week, the environmental impact statement, which was a step in the approval process by the state department. i think what should happen is now we should finish going through that review, go through the scientific process and then see where it comes out, whether it should be approved or not rather than having congress come rushing in the middle and try to rush approval. we saw the same thing with yucca mountain. >> we have been rushing that for a long time. [laughter] >> what happened and i actually went to yucca mountain with joe and they were going through a whole process and i went out is pretty say it much in the desert and we need to go through the scientific process. and the republicans came in to try to jam that scientific
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review to approve it. and why don't we let the science buy out and that's the way i feel about the keystone pipeline. let's let the state department do their review and the president and the state department can decide what to do based on the science. >> we have a court case that is going to allow the scientific review to be reported out and that will we project will say yucca mountain for a thousand years. that changes that dynamic. it wasn't us but the administration stopped funding. >> it went back and forth. >> it was a court case that said, administration, follow the law. follow the law and get the evaluation review out. >> are you ready to approve at this time? i'm a big texas and supporter of keystone.
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we have pipelines going and coming from canada, from mexico, particularly in texas and this approval process has taken way longer. the average time is two years up until keystone and now going on five. i'm hoping the administration will move quickly, but joe is right. om cushing, a lot has been built. you don't have to have a state department permit to go from the canadian border along the gulf coast. we have to have state department approval to go across into canada and it has been frustrating because five refineries, they were all geared to handle heavier crude from venezuela. i would much rather buy canadian crude than from venezuela. i'm hoping the administration will more quickly.
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>> the decision goes to secretary kerry and ultimately to president obama and a lot of pressure from the environmental community to reject this. do you think when this decision gets made it's going to be against permitting the pipeline? >> it's going to be approved sometime this year. >> you think secretary kerry -- >> the president and the secretary always base the decisions on science and they always -- based on what she said, hey, this thing's in the bag and we have 200,000 miles of pipelines all over the country. i can't build a fence post in my back yard without having to call that number to make sure i'm not hitting a pipeline. to be serious for half a second, it has been debated so long that despite of the environmental religious opposition to it, it
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will be permitted, because it makes sense economically and there is no scientific or environmental reason not to do it. >> do you think environmentalists made a mistake making into a test of the president's green credentials. >> the environmentalists are concerned about the u.s. continuing dependence on foreign crude oil and that's why they out there.ew but i also think -- and i have been thinking a lot about this, if you look at what has been happening with the increased development of natural gas in this country with the decreased reliance on foreign oil and with our increasing attempt to develop renewable energy, i think what we really need and i told the environmental community and also the oil and gas community what we really need is a long-term energy plan and i think that fossil fuels, crude
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oil, natural gas are good transition fuel. but what we haven't had any kind of national energy plan. as a result, we just kind of go from issue to issue. keystone xl, we had the hearings in my committee on renewable energy tax credits and so on and so forth without thinking what's our plan, both short and long-term and that's one reason congressman mckinley from west virginia and i have put out -- normally i don't like commissions, but in this case it would really make sense to have a bipartisan commission that would try to develop a long-term energy plan so we wouldn't be just fixating on one particular issue or another. >> can i make one comment on said. ne an just can process a little
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bit lower, $60 a barrel to supply every amount of every u.s. -- that one deposit. that's not a bad midterm energy plan if we are going to go with what you just said. >> i would rather have natural gas as a good substitute. >> i won't argue that. if it's from texas -- [laughter] >> chairman upton said exploration to speed up l.n.g. terminals will put on the agenda this year. what about interest on the energy and commerce on any oil export ban. i know it was talked about. let's go down the line, do you think we will see action on this house on the oil export issue?
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>> i'm the task force chairman on the republican study committee on energy and we are going to put out position papers and some bills, maybe a comprehensive bill and that's one of the things we are debating whether to support the end of the ban. i can debate either side of that. from a pure economic standpoint doesn't make sense to have an export ban. let's eliminate it. but on the other hand from a political, a lot of the environmentalists are going to fight us tooth and nail. we have had the fight since the mid-1970's. not a bad strategic position to prevent oil exports. the economists say if we ended the ban based on market situations today, you will probably see prices that would have trouble getting their oil to market.
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today, probably go down $4 to $5 a barrel. >> what about the political as pets, domestic gas prices going up, which i think is a political -- difficult vote to take. do you have any thoughts whether or not this is a nonstarter at this point? >> i would defer to my colleagues in the majority. they decide what bills. i don't know if they are going to bring these bills up or not. i think it's worth having the discussion certainly as we continue to develop to natural gas. >> how would you vote? >> depends on what the bill looks like. >> congressman green? >> we have a procedure right now on crude oil exports. let's see how that works with the president and state department. and there are exports to canada.
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ou know, if we have bottle necks of crude oil. unlike natural gas where we have so much more that we are going know, myorting and you favorite store in texas, we literally pride ourselves on blue bell ice cream. eat all we can and sell the rest. that's what we want to do with natural gas. we want to use all we can and sell all the rest. we want those downstream jobs but we need enough to export. >> what do you think about the idea --? >> we have a national energy policy and joe offered it, national policy energy act of 2005 and tried to adjust it in 2007 and we think it was a diversified portfolio and let all folks come. a lot of folks here have been
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following this debate even within the republican conference exports. fren yeah on there is an argument if it's like corn and beans should be able to price it on the world market. but then the return on the investment of having the opportunity to get the additional job if we could expand the refinery capacity and sell export refined products. we do do that like in diesel based upon tougher standards and export diesel around the world. that's what we would rather see because it's more beneficial to the wealth of our nation but you highlight a point, i don't think there is a solid republican position on this right now. >> some of the questions on twitter and people out there, we re being broadcast on c-span
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#113. question about the legislative agenda. we have in the senate, energy efficiency bill they have tried several times to brit up. what about the house, anything to move anything on energy efficiency? >> i would oppose that if i were asked on that specific bill. this is not going to be an active legislative congress. the president, the senate agrees with the house on most issues. so any kind of a major energy initiative, i think we can debate things and put things out and develop things, but from a republican point of view, i think we would prefer to wait and hopefully see the senate become republican in november of this year and try to do something in 2015. >> you would have a similar dynamic for the final two years in the bush administration with the democratic congress. and that's when you were able to
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do the 2007 -- >> don't put me with the 2007 act i fought it with every part of my body. i'll take credit or blame for the 2005 act but i was not for the 2007. >> would that be a arrive legislative environment? >> it would be rife for the current environment. >> energy efficiency, that's something we should be able to agree on on a bipartisan basis. it's the low-hanging fruit. even if we disagreed with the senate and we often disagree with the senate but why couldn't we sit down and try to develop an energy efficiency bill that we all agree with. there is still more work we could do. >> i love going to home depot bulb.ying $15 for a light
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that warms my heart. >> that's not what an energy efficiency bill is. mandatory standards that can't be met in the real world to me is not a good way to go. >> i want more production with partners in mexico. if we can use it more efficiently, whether it's electricity or gasoline and have at it because i think it's part of our portfolio with our energy effort. >> can the congress walk and
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chew gum at the same time? >> i'm not as far as joe is, i think we can do energy efficiency, my point is small percentage of the electricity used and my biggest concern is gigawatts not energy efficiency, because as coal goes offline, nuclear power is threatened. the promise of green doesn't produce the major electricity generation, fortunately we have the natural gas that could fill the gap. i think people are naive if they don't think we are coming to a real energy crisis on base load generation and i think that should be our focus. >> question from an audience member. mountain site? what about the blue ribbon commission? >> we have had discussions with senator feinstein and senator
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alexander and they know where we stand on the house side. interim storage is not off the table with us, but there has to be an acceptance that 30 years and $15 billion investment, granting the report from the n.r.c. and safety and evaluation report that that then -- we would then be able to go to debate on interim storage at yucca mountain or maybe someplace else, but yucca has to be part of this debate. >> we were talking about the legislative prospects being pretty much dead with that and move into the executive realm and president obama is moving on the e.p.a. regulations on climate change. and the senate not being able to move. talk a little bit really quickly, what will the house do. i think you have had multiple votes to stop the carbon
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emissions. >> one thing we want e.p.a. to do is follow the law, just follow the law, not make law, just follow the law and i just happen to have a letter that myself and mr. up ton and mr. scalise and mr. witnessfield sent to the e.p.a. back in november talking about these new coal-based emission standards and they base those standards on some demonstration projects using carbon capture and sequestration and just so happens that the energy policy act of 2005 and title 4 section 402-i says they can't do it explicitly. we have sent this letter and not responded to it. they kind of back door put out a proposed up in the federal register something. maybe they have read the law and maybe what they have done is illegal and maybe they are going to take a step back.
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so right now, my position on some of these things they are doing in the war against coal, you may not like it, but if you can't change the law, follow the law. >> let me respond and say i think the e.p.a. is following the law and the courts have agreed with that. and furthermore, i think the problem with coal is not a war against coal, but rather market conditions changing, a lot more natural gas coming on the market and coal becoming -- not only is it lessen tale sound than natural gas, but it's also just not as economical to produce or to burn. so i feel badly for the coal miners and their families, but we need to help them transition as our economy transitions to a cleaner more easily achieved fuel which is natural gas. >> congressman shimkus you have coal in your back yard, how are
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you feeling what the e.p.a. regulations are looking like right now? >> joe is absolutely right on the law. the law says it has to be economically feasible and the plant e.p.a. is using is in mississippi that is over budget and has hundreds of millions of d.o.e. loans. that doesn't mean that a private sector industry would not need support from the federal government can operate this. so they are breaking the law. it's pretty clear and i hope they will look at these rules and regulations. >> there is a court decision that says under the clean air act, the administration can impose regulation on greenhouse gases and if we want to change that law, which i would like to do because it's a congressional decision not necessarily a court decision, i would hope e.p.a. would be reasonable about it, but they have also been ordered to do that. only way we can stop that is for
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us to do something that can pass both the house and senate and set up a system, cap and trade politically won't happen. it's a shambles in europe but we need to control carbon in congressional authority instead of court-made authority from e.p.a. >> john dingell said in writing that law, it was explicitly debated and carbon dioxide shouldn't be part of emissions standards. legislatively there was never any support to do what the supreme court ruled. >> panelists it's time to wrap up our conversation. thank you for sharing your perspectives and thank you to walk out the way -- opposite way you came in. [applause]
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>> good morning panelists thanks for joining us. i have on stage francis from the natural resources defense council, ross from the national association of manufacturers, david from brookings and sarah from c.s.i.s. you heard this panel pretty much rule congress out legislatively for action and we are just getting started in 2014, what are you most disappointed that we aren't going to see. if congress could move on
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energy, what would you like them to tackle this year? >> i think it's become so normal to count them out in terms of legislative action. i think what i would like to see from congress is not necessarily anything that will pass but something that passes muster. i think what you see so many times in the debate we have right now is, we get wrapped around the axle on particular issues when the energy industry is fundamentally more dynamic than it has been and very, very long time. we an internationally-oriented think tank people are coming here to find out what is happening what is happening on global climate and on technology. i feel like a lot of time and intelligence is wasted on sort of getting wrapped around the axle on very conventional issues that definitely need an answer but may not be at a place where
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we have a readily available answer. if nothing's going to happen, maybe some real creative thinking would be in order and maybe the states and executive branch do something. >> what do you think -- if congress could do -- >> pass the legislation. i'm not unhappy with congress not acting in the energy space. most of the debate right now is will we have the infrastructure we need, will the coal rules at e.p.a. putting in place be effective for climate and permit the infrastructure for l.n.g. and pipeline to move our resources. that is classic debate whether the executive branch is moving quickly and if not, whether the congress will pass legislation. what we are seeing several of those bills deadlines for l.n.g. permits out there, it is in the hands of the executive branch to
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move more swiftly and president obama with his executive order wants to move all infrastructure quickly, oil and gas doesn't seem to be quite in that basket. so i can see in the next year two things the administration could do that would help move this. l.n.g. export permits, they could just declare as 2005 requires that 90 days after ferc approves a permit is going to go through. on the pipelines, the pipeline cannot be named, i think they could just move a lot more quickly or you might even see the administration move that authority for cross-border pipelines. maybe the state department doesn't want it. >> how do you feel and is there one thing you would like to seekonk tackle here. >> talking about the realm of the possible, we certainly would put energy efficiency at the top of the list.
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if we are talking wish list, we would love to seekonk engage on greenhouse gases and draw lines around what the e.p.a. is doing and give them a reasonable path forward. we support it. but that's at or near the top of my wish list. >> i know a lot of things you would like to seekonk do, but how in the world of the possible? >> focusing on efficiency is important. there is an opportunity most people agree on it. creating jobs would be a good thing. also a consistent policy on reables, tax credit that kept renewables going. unleash clean energy would be important and we have to have legislation on climate. i don't think it's going to happen this year or next year.
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and i think that the administration's action on the e.p.a. rules is absolutely critical to get going on climate change. that's not going to be in congress' domain hopefully and at least as an affirmative action on reducing carbon emissions, but e.p.a. has the pen on this one and they really need to move forward. >> do you see, if you could game it out, do you think we will come back to a climate debate in the next five, 10 years, cap and trade or some other method to try and move forward or moving away from the legislative approach? >> congress has to come back to climate. this is a grave concern for the country and planet and something that is being taken up internationally and in international negotiations. i don't think it will be in the near term but four to six years it has to be addressed and i think what will happen is we
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will put in standards on power plants and unleash clean energy as it is being unleashed. there are 186,000 jobs that have been created. by the time congress gets around to it, it is going to be happening in states all across the country and easier thing to do. >> national association of manufacturers is fighting the e.p.a. climate rules pretty hard. where is this going in your mind? do you think we are headed to a weigh here congress will in? >> the farther down we get down this regulatory path and it becomes our policy. think about how -- i would argue that we are dealing with greenhouse gases not in a coordinated way right now. we have the clean air act which is being rolled out in a particularly dangerous way both for the power sector and manufacturers down the road. nepa is being used as the front
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line on the battle on climate change where you have climate change on a project by project basis and you see it on keystone and energy export projects. that is as dangerous if not more dangerous. so very haphazard uncoordinated way getting to this. the more that we are stuck with a very unworkable regulatory policy on greenhouse gases and climate change. >> you were in the state department. we have paris, france negotiations meeting in 2015 on the climate talks. where do you see the dynamic going and where the u.s. going right now? >> we headed for a disaster where expectations buildup and nothing happens and we are continuing in this endless cycle? >> i don't have high expectations for the first round but i wouldn't call the accords a total disaster. it was the best deal at the
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time. but if we make the pivot to keystone xl, canada has to find a way to meet its target and look at oil and gas regulations and everything else. and the reason they are going to do that is copenhagen. the rollout for the next couple of years and secretary kerry understands this that the big rocks are china and india and what you do there. the real solution of the bridge are ways to increase gas penetration in china and india as a substitution for coal. that's the big decrease. i think we are going to have national plans. i think we are going to have technology assistance and have a policy that moves the markets to reduce those greenhouse gas emissions, but i don't see binding targets in the next round. >> can you talk about the international climate negotiations and where we are headed here. do you see this as something that is moving forward or are we in a perpetual state of --
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>> yeah. i think we have -- and i don't know what terminology to pick but we have a problem where we tend to look at the climate negotiations as a slam dunk or home run or something that feels a lot more satisfying and conclusive than what is going to happen. in between copenhagen and now where i think the narrative is ok and the climate change debate has gone away or so contentious that there is no middle ground, there is a great deal of moderation that's happened that is overall very helpful for the debate. you have an administration now which i'm not trying to defend their position necessarily, but all energy strategy to support domestic production and move towards a lower carbon economy. that is not satisfying to either end. focus more on technology and energy development. those are all the things that you need to have a whole hearted
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climate policy. i think that debate that we have sort of switched to not necessarily an all or nothing debate somewhere in the center is really important and i think while people have been been paying less attention to the climate negotiations, they have moved in a way that are probably a lot more pragmatic for people who don't occupy the ends of the spectrum and what you are going to start seeing people are going to see there is another big ramp up where we have to talk about the future again and post 2020 is where there's a lot of places to figure out where we have headed. we are going to see that date come back but probably after the end of this year. >> we just heard congressman barton say on the keystone pipeline i think he said it was in the bag and no way this could be approved. this was a decision that secretary of state and president is making and the community is
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putting pressure on the president to reject the pipeline. do you think you will be successful? >> i do think we are. the state department analysis shows where for the first time does a full climate analysis. it gives the president the information he needs. it addresses the test that he directed on his june 25 climate statement. this will exacerbate climate emissions both in this country and in canada, it will expand tar sands development there and the president is going to make a decision and we expect him to turn it down and there is more and more evidence that climate emissions are going up. these are the dirtiest fuels on the planet. we have to -- there has to be a strategic decision whether we are going to go down a clean energy path or continually go ahead with fossil fuel development that is destructive to the climate. it's definitely in his hands and we think the information is there. the analysis is quite complete
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and in the climate case, it exascerbates the problem and fails the test and should turn it down. >> on keystone. >> on its merits the project is in the national interest. when this permit was first submitted, i'm a phillies' fan and they were the world series champs ages ago and getting to the point for my members and a lot of investors that it's a sign that the u.s. isn't necessarily open for business. this would be a strong signal particularly of the statements in the state of the union that he was going to cut red tape for infrastructure projects. here is exhibit a. no bigger poster child than this project right here. it's in the national interests. it has been shown again and again and again for economic reasons and energy reasons and national security seasons. enough already. we have to move. >> i have a slight different reading of the environmental
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impact statement. i read that one like the three e.i.s.'s and the department of energy study before, the canadians are going to produce this oil one way or the other, either by rail or truck or go west or come here. but the pipeline is not the proximate cause of increased production and rail will have much greenhouse gas emissions than a pipeline will. so therefore the environmental impact is relatively negly gibble and the substitution to million one tons. i think it's very hard for the state department to construct the national interest determination that says it's not in the national interest. the energy security piece of it one way or the other, 830,000 barrels a day by land, by pipe, not subject to weather, economic, it's got jobs, argue
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about the numbers and cultural and social benefits have been addressed. it's hard to say no. what i hope is there will be a refocus that the president will encourage the canadians to be more granular how they are going to meet the copenhagen targets and all the movement will focus on the dwight which will be the rules and continued implementation of the fuel efficiency because when you get those mobile sources then you are making progress. >> the environmental community has invested so much to influence this decision. do you think they made a mistake by focusing so much on making a test? >> no. it has been effective for them. i don't think it's great for u.s. energy policy, but that's not necessarily the question. you know one of the things that i think was useful for was
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post-copien hague and post cap and trade, it's a focal point and was a test. now that's fine but my question has always been, what do you do post-keystone, after a yes or no, it is not the last pipeline that will get permitted in the north american continent. you will have more. so what do you do to make a decision. and so unfortunately i think rather than move the debate forward, i feel like it holds up the debate which is about one pipeline and one project, because i fundamentally -- i may be in the minority, but i don't think a decision is coming any time soon because i don't think the politics on it is exactly clear. as you continue this place where you don't have a decision, you have massive amounts of unintended consequences on both
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sides and don't get to the heart of the debate. i support what david was saying, let's refocus on other things and that look like and communicate sort of a stronger, morrow bus, more effective on both sides of the ledger path forward. >> perhaps the chicago cubs will win the world series. we can only hope. >> maybe. >> what comes next after the keystone decision, yes or no, francis? >> the most important thing are carbon rules and the e.p.a. is coming out with a proposed rule in june. single largest thing we can do to reduce emissions. 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and get that down and get the u.s. on the 17% reduction. this is a huge and very significant step forward on climate. absolute centerpiece of the president's climate plan and it is where the environmental community is focused.
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there were three million comments supporting the proposed rule for new plants. we expect even more this year. people are galvanized in every state of the country to address this issue, so there is tremendous tension -- i mean priority focused on the largest single thing we can do which is reduce emissions from our power sector and completely organized on that. nobody should think we are not focusing on a very important commitment the president has made in ensuring he will meet that commitment. >> time to wrap up this conversation. we have our next panel coming in in a minute. thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. [applause]
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>> final discussion today, delighted to bring in senators john barrasso and senator sheldon whitehouse to the stage. >> good morning. >> interesting discussions we have had so far this morning and we've got little bit of time here to barrel through a whole bunch of topics here today. we have been talking keystone quite a bit and start there with you. senator whitehouse, you have two former colleagues who are making the final decision, secretary of state kerry and president obama. what do you bring on those two
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individuals as they weigh the final decision. >> they are fair and logical decision and i want to make sure that the decision -- helps our national interests in exercising leadership in the area of carbon pollution, which is a global problem that is hitting home in villages and farms and fisheries that, it will hurt our national security policy now and in the future considerably, and i want to focus on the fact that that question and the answer, at least in the original i asked -- i am looking at a more recent one -- is a self-fulfilling process he -- prophecy, because ands are goingso
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to be developed in a way. there will not be much harm. i think everybody who knows anything about pollution density of these sands knows that there will be a lot of harm if these sands are developed and the country should have a say in whether we are involved in diplomatic, commercial, exportation and other means. >> john kerry and barack obama will make the decision. what do you think they will come down on? >> i think they will approve this. it is not a scientific-based decision. it is about posix. tim sounds are -- it is about politics. tim sellers are said they should approve that. thiswashington post," morning, it is time to
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greenlight the project. there been five different impact statements. over the five years they have come out, one was called the draft supplemental and departmental impact statement, and two years later the supplemental draft environmental impact statement came out. they came to the same conclusion -- it is time to move forward with this. "the washington post" makes the point this energy source is going to be developed, used, and the pipeline is a underway to do it than trucks or trains. had congressman barton and congressman shimkus earlier saying they were pleased this is not put in the house proposal, that this was not part of the bargaining. are you ok with that, that that this is not something republicans are going forward with opting for? whate house will decide goes in their debt limit initiations.
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i would like to see it in their. the president had lunch with senate republicans in march of last year. he doesn't visit with us that often, but i asked the question about this, and about keystone xl pipeline, he said we will have the decision before the end of the year. that is before the end of 2013. sent therepublicans president a letter, we want an answer. thatis is something republicans are pushing for, even a couple of democrats in recent days are ok with the force theed to president's hand. >> i do not object there to being a vote. i object to the vote in tied to the debt limit. we have are responsible of in congress to pay the country's bills and avoid economic catastrophe that would come from default. if we go down the road, one party trying to hold that caness ransom, then two
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play that game, and soon you end up with recovering -- recurring damage to our upcoming -- economy, and were that one does go wrong, and we do not do it, so they made a written. the president position is nothing, no, we are not -- we want you to do what you're supposed to do, which is be responsible about paying the bills and not use this as an option to take hostages or extract ransom. >> we will see some musical chairs in the senate in the next couple days on max baucus becoming the ambassador to china. fanning'smoves to the -- finance chair, and mary landrieu becomes that chair of another committee. doesabout what a democrat
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to that panel. it will be different from ron wyden. >> ron and i worked closely together. we met earlier this morning on an issue. we had a committee meeting that wills at 9:30, that he still be chairing. my focus is to work over the next year to make sure that lisa murkowski chairs the energy committee in the next session. i will continue to work toward that end. >> you push folks to say these democrats should take votes, whether it be mary landrieu or others? >> one thing that can happen, since last july until the beginning of this week, there have only been a vote on for republican amendments in the united states senate, which is astonishing. advocates cuts have been shut down on amendments, too. all legislation seems to be written in harry reid's office. committee chairmen have lost their authority and opportunity
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to bring forth legislation. it has turned into a one-man show, and he is doing the bidding of the white house -- not this white house, the other white house. >> the concert is to what amendments that you can be best that concern is what amendments that you can be, and i will talk to groups of people about electing republicans who are much more focused on making sure that we can make energy as clean as we can, as safe as we can, without raising costs for american families without costing american jobs. >> i cannot let john's .01 responded to. it would be that when you have a party that is relentless obstructing the senate on every measure, including one that ends up being noncontroversial, you force cloture, the only mechanism for operating the senate, which is to the minority's advantage because
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up that time of cloture time that cannot be used for anything else, and soon you have built a wall around the senate and put the majority party in a position where it is difficult to govern. to then turn around and say not in many decisions are made harry reid's office is a little bit of like orphan throwing himself on the mercy of the court, as an orphan, when in fact the crime was that he killed his parents. >> let me bring it back -- [laughter] there?t to give >> we had equal time. we need to move on. thedo not want to go to sochi olympics as somebody who covered felix 15 years ago. you are happier to be here -- >> i am much happier to be here. , bringing it back
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to the landrieu dynamics. on the and private committee, a couple years ago, senator boxer and senator bingaman did not always see eye to eye. those committees were not moving on the same direction on issues. this setup i landrieu -- boxer dynamic. is there going to be some tension there? will we see pro-production proposals, and in the other committee will push in the other direction? a senator landrieu comes from 80 energy state, a fossil fuel state. so does my friend john barrasso. i think wyoming gets about a billion dollars a year in state revenues from the coal industry and employees thousands of is in afolks, and mary similar situation in louisiana. i respect the people who have
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that home-state profile will work to try to hear the interests of their constituents to make sure those of these are respected in the congress. that is as old as the presentation. is as old as- that representation. the concern is that the industry has gotten into such a reckless, selfless, and bullying posture politically that you can not have a discussion about things with them. the industry, the coal and oil folks, are in such a state of denial about climate and they feel they have enough clout in congress that they can stonewall everything. it actually may prove to our benefit that somebody like mary can come in and broker what is now i think a very dangerous position for the coal and oil industry. where you can believe people and assist on having everything your way, refusing to admit that
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carbon does not harm the planet, refusing to admit that seas are acidifying. payback is a tough thing. it actually could be -- [laughter] >> do you watch senator white on --in his four speeches his floor speech is on change? >> we have had about 50. he has taken over the mantle of our core -- al gore. >> we do our time. >> i should not have gotten him started. >> i apologize to all of you. with regard to the energy discussion, i am the only republican on the energy and the epw committee.
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there is a lot of bipartisan work on the public works part. the public transportation bill, the environmental side of it there is not because of the dynamics of this. e's that tiehree together, energy security for our nation, or affordable energy at home, economic growth, which is really the affordable side of that. it does not help us to make energy more expensive for families. it does not help us as a country. tore is a cost competitiveness, more expensive energy, we are seeing that now in europe where they are having energy poverty. germany am aware we worked together a year ago, talking about leaders there, after they decided to shut down the nuclear problems after fukushima.
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their energy, cost of production is higher. families, there was a story in "the new york times," a man that watt like ball. that is what we are -- like ball. that is what we're looking at. environmental stewardship, the third e. be wyoming, it continues to one of the most beautiful places in the world. it is a destination resort, and yet we are the number supplier coal, oil, natural gas, which is having a resurgence. great opportunities there. when it comes to her noble energy, we needed all. truly all of it, and the reality of something like wind is that no matter what we do is -- 20 years from now, it will still be numeral three percent -- 3%.
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and the footprint is so different. people do not do the math. government officials in the epa agreed the amount of energy generated by one nuclear power plant, coal-fired power plant, you would need 300 square miles of wind turbines to produce that same amount of energy, electricity, than you get from a couple hundred acres. >> i would agree with virtually everything that john just said, but i would put a caveat on that, which is in the equation that he is talking about, about costs, the industry would like to take all of the harm that carbon causes, to the fishermen island who fish, man who used
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to have a each -- a beach, the island --g at road for hersland waiting child to take an atomizer. gimmick the market structure that badly by taking what is literally tens of billions of costs every year and pretend they do not exist, you are not doing the math that senator barrasso suggests fairly. that is my concern, that the costs that coal imposes on the rest of us are real, and the fact they do not fit in the bade, causes really economic decisions to be made. there will be tough outcomes in wyoming if we go down that road think it is our
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responsibility as part of the solution to work with senators from wyoming and other places to make sure that there are economy and their workers are protected in all this. it is not anybody's job to hurt anybody. the alternative, where i have workers, i do not want the part, and then pretend the problem does not exist, is really, really wrong, and leads to some very day just outcomes. those people in my state feel that all the time. >> your governor just said he was skeptical of climate changes, and he was referring to seasonal snowfall in the wintertime. do you agree that there is a man-made part to this climate debate, and it is causing what we are seeing right now, as senator white house hears from his constituents? today, 20 low zero, but the real temperature is 47
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below zero on casper mountain right now. i believe there is that climate changes. i believe man has an impact on that. how much of that i think we do not know. i focus on the economic impacts of the legislation. it is a matter of what we do about all this and we do it in a smart, efficient way, that is not costly, or do we do it with schemes like to have in europe where they find energy costs go up. there is a cost competitiveness to that, and even the european plan to 2050 talks about that. we need to put value in that. what the administration has done with the issue of costs of carbon come in 2010, they came up with the social cost of carbon, and i think it was $20 a ton. >> $37, i think. >> they have updated it based on no scientific data, but they want to say that the costs were
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of the regulations, which people know are burdensome, expensive, time-consuming, cost jobs, that the costs they want to say are cost of notthe doing regulation compared to the benefits, they say you should do this regulation. they had to raise the social cost of carbon from $20 to $37. then you have extremist groups saying it should be over $300. we ought to be realistic about what the cost of the regulations are, to the point where i put , and i did this as a doctor, someone who has taken care of patients over the years who are long-term unemployed. the cost to that individual that does not show up in any of these numbers at the administration uses in terms of their health care costs that are up, heart disease, issues of depression, abuse of substances, abuse of
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family members, there is a cost to that as well. so there is a huge social cost of regulations on human beings and how it affects their family and their lives. that is what i continue to fight against efforts that make american energy the red, white, and blue energy, and specifically coal, the most available and secure source of energy, that it attacks that. >> let's look at what we know. we do know that when you put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere it warms up the planet. itt has been science since was first written up when abraham lincoln was president. it is not some new environmental development. this is stone cold solid science. we know when you put that much carbon into the atmosphere, the ocean absorbs a lot of it. absorbedhe ocean has 90% of the heat and 30% of
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carbon. we know in chemical laws of science that anybody can replicate in the lab that if you put that added car against the c word is -- the seawater, it testifies the seawater. we know from measurements that the seawater is acidifying at the weight we have not seen since before the dinosaurs. we know the carbon in our that isre is at a point higher than in the history of humankind. long as homo sapiens have been here, it is been about 300 parts per million. that is not a theory. now it is at 400, roughly, and climbing. that is a big experiments to take with a planet that has been hospitable to us for a hundre -- 800,000 years, 800 centuries. put those things together and ink around at sea levels newport, rhode island,
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acidifying oceans, we surge being killed off in washington state, the warming we see everywhere that is not one day -- i know there are stone cold days, we are not going to get notof those -- there's only warming, but more variability, and we are seeing work streams all around us. the challenge that i it is you cannot say that trout or wildfire or that storm was caused by climate change. no, you cannot. neither can you say that that home run was hit by barry bonds because of the steroids. you still did not want him on steroids because it is not fair and it distorts the game. and so what we are doing is we are distorting the planet in ways that are from a scientific point of view at this point literally undeniable. yout is interesting because talked about the planet and what we see is the percentage of admissions that are coming from -- emissions that are coming
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from the united states are going down, because they are going so much up more in other places. china, india, realistically, you could turn off the tire united states today -- the entire united states today and global emissions will continue to increase for the foreseeable future, at least until 2050. >> the global problem and that global to exercise leadership. this may be the only issue in which the republican party does not want the united states to exercise global leadership. they want to say china or india are going to do it, so we need to give up. [laughter] [applause] >> not just to give up. i think we should not hurt our economy at the same time if these other countries are continuing to do that put us in a significant this advantage to what is happening other places. i do not think it helps us as a nation to be a strong, secure
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nation, to put on families across the country, higher energy costs where there is going to be no global impact the come essentially. >> by fishermen's economy gets -- my fishermen's economy gets hurt. patty murray's oyster fisheries get hurt. farmers looking out at drought and parched fields yet heard. there are a lot of people who get hurt if we do not do something. this is not a law the situation and where the -- where the economic sessions are all on one side of the equation, no matter how much we may wish that were the case. >> if you turned off the u.s. tomorrow, those things will continue to happen regardless of what we do. >> and we have something to say about what the chinese are doing, and they are making immense progress. they're making progress so fast that we are in a mercantile and competitive danger of losing leadership in these new green technologies to china and becoming an importer and
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of green energy rather than the inventor and manufacturer of green energy. if we lose that in order to fossil fuels,, then we have lost a very important battle, because i do not want our country to be importing all the solar, wind, and all the green technology, battery technologies, that will help our future. >> china is still using more fossil fuels. the technologies they are developing their are still not a toolstute for all the they are using. >> their mix is going down. there uses going up, the economy is going up so fast, and and they insisted going on down further. i'm told by the embassy and intelligence folks that the number one concern that the chinese leadership has about the
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danger of regime change is that their population is going to get fed up with the pollution, that up with the poison, fed up with the damage they are seeing and they will have a green spring of a different kind. that is why they are spending something like $500 million on clean energy and were noble energy-- and renewable in the next four years. if you lean in that much, they're using the next generation leader technology that we developed. a will build it there. there is a competitive issue there as well that we need to pay attention to very >> we have countries of europe that have sent over $100 billion and have now pulled back because it has all been in subsidies for this much more expensive -- there was go aboutle two weeks abo wind turbines off the coast of
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england, calling it staggeringly expensive energy and families cannot afford that. that is why we need to work on technologies to make that cleaner, better, more efficient use -- >> i am all for that. >> we need to stop you there. you can carry on in the senate floor in the coming days. thank you very much for talking with us today. [applause] i want to thank everybody out there for watching. us onthank you to you for this important event. we will see you next time. >> i think the american public sees the first ladies in glamorous issues, state dennis, a beautiful down, some speech where there is a handsome suit,
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whatever. what they may not imagine, looking at the white house from the outside is that it is a very normal life upstairs on those two floors, the white house residence, that first ladies probably -- and i did -- uch,ally lie on the co read a book, and my cap would curl up next to me. ladies saturday or on monday, our series continues with michelle obama. c-span -- we bring public affairs events in washington to you, adding you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences, and offering complete coverage of the house. we are c-span, created by the tv
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industry 35 years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd. follow us on twitter. >> the justice department official investigating rrs -- irs was scheduled to testify today, but did not appear at the hearing this morning. several representatives of tea party groups did testify at the hearing, which was chaired by darrell issa. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> the committee will come to order. i want to welcome our witnesses today. i have to put up with a couple of opening statement from myself. then we will get to your testimony. we want to hear from you as quickly as we can. lernerlast year, lois was given a question here in town, disclose that targeting of .onservative groups took place
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she disclosed before the inspector general's report was released. she did that after consulting of staff at the treasury department, put him on notice that they were going to do it this way, it out in front of this story him and she said this -- comments read from her . she disclosed systematic targeting of conservatives groups has taken place, and they used name like keep party or patriot and selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. that was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect. this additional scrutiny not only delayed the processing of years, buttion for resulted in question from the irs that were beyond the scope of legitimate inquiry.
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lerner'sois statement. she said from the beginning that people were targeted and delayed in getting their tax-exempt status. older said that was outrageous. the president said we will not tolerate that kind of agency. one month after that come in a hearing in front of the director, then fbi mueller was asked if you question. can you tell me who the lead agent is in the case? can you tell me how many agents you have assigned to the case? can you tell me if you have interviewed any of the victims? his answers to those two questions, i do not know, i do not know, i do not know. but exactly inspiring much confidence in the type of investigation the fbi and the justice department were engaged
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in. thatrecently we learned the person heading the gave $6,750 to the obama campaign and to the democrat national committee. she is the person heading the investigation. again, we learn this not because but current it, employees who have been interviewed in the investigation told that she was the one leading the investigation and asking the questions. a lady with a financial stake in a specific outcome is having the investigation. heading the investigation, and the president could be a target of that investigation, and we're supposed to believe this investigation is credible. we invited her to come today. we wanted her to be -- with the people who were victimized by
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the rrs. she did not respond to letters. the deputy assistant attorney general did. he sent me to letters within five days. within the last 10 days we got is that is. he was in front of the committee just two days ago and had a chance to question him, and i asked the same three questions. team, can youteam tell me who is on the team, and have you interviewed victims? his answers were the same as mr. mueller's. in those two letters mr. cole said this was an ongoing investigation. he said it seven times. ongoing investigation, and yet to my knowledge no victims have been interviewed by the fbi or the justice department. you had "the wash street journal -- "the wall street
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journal" reporting nobody would be investigated. an ongoing investigation, and yet the president and go on national television on a day when people's watch a lot of television and say there's not a smidgen of corruption in the irs targeting scandal. are today. she will not come. the the i will not answer questions. the president said it is over. the wall street journal reports it is over. he thought what we would do today is allow people who were victimized by the internal revenue service to come tell their story. the sba may not -- the fbi may not want to interview you, but this committee does. our witnesses this morning experience the irs targeting firsthand and in the course of trying to exercise their rights to make our country a better place for the neighbors and friends, they were harassed at
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the hands of their government. -- theyion, the irs were scrutinized by the fbi, and osha. deeplygnize and we appreciate the courage it takes for you to come here and testify today. counseled --o with them today. these attorneys are experts and represent dozens of clients that were mistreated by the irs. to shed lightble on the process an abnormality of the treatment phase by conservative groups. hopefully this hearing will advance the interest in getting closer to the truth, which is -- when i am out and about ohio, across the country, i get that question more than anything else . we want to know the truth and we want people held accountable. i get it all the time. is that going to happen?
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i tell those people, we are going to do everything we can to get to the truth and hold people accountable. i will finish here and i will recognize mr. cartwright. when the founders put together the first amendment, and all the rights contained, freedom of religion, press, assembly, speech, when they talk about freedom of speech, the most important aspect of freedom of speech is your right to political speech. your right to criticize your government. and that is the very thing that the irs attacked them and that is why this hearing and the subject is so important come and that is what i am pleased to have the witnesses we have today. with that i will yield to the ranking member, mr. cartwright. you, mr. chairman. as i have noted in previous hearings of this committee, i also am deeply troubled regarding irs employees' improper handling of applications for tax-exempt pervades handling that
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the american political spectrum and includes obviously right- wing groups and also left-wing groups, and we will talk about that in a moment. since the chairman has just raised it, including allegations about the attorney, i want to address that right away. art of the premise of the hearing as i understand it is that the chairman and the witnesses have concerns about the department of justice's investigation of the irs for the improper treatment of tax-exempt organization. jordan has claimed the investigation has the appearance of a substantial and material conflict of interest. he has made that claim because a career prosecutor who is one of and fbi 13 doj employees involved in the investigation may political the nations to the dnc and the president's campaign. we have consulted with legal experts and they have flatly rejected the chairman's
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interpretation of the law. one such expert is professor fore green affordable, who the last 27 years has taught courses related to ethics, including a seminar on ethics in criminal advocacy. professor greene also served as an associate counsel in the ntfice of the independe counsel lawrence walsh and then served as an appointee of rudy city'si and the new york board. he said, under the prevailing understanding, this scenario does not constitute a conflict of interest. professor greene added more pointedly a career prosecutor assigned to investigate a federal official would not have a conflict of interest simply because the prosecutor treated to one or the other party or to one or the other residential
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candidate. professor greene furthermore explained because political donations are not a relevant consideration in making assignments, that his case assignments, it would not be appropriate for the department of justice leadership to check career prosecutors' political donations before assigning them to an investigation. i asked nana must consent to enter the responses from professor green as well as the statement of columbia university are professor daniel richmond into the record. >> without objection. >> i would remind members that hatch act act -- the is within this committee's your station where congress states it is a policy of congress that employees should be encouraged encourage -- an entity
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except not prohibited by law their right to participate or to refrain from participating in the political processes of this nation. this attorney, a career civil servant can in to testify in public about an ongoing investigation and to accuse her of being politically biased because she was exercising her right to participate in the democratic processes of this nation, is unacceptable. i will be happy to hear from the appropriate person at the department of justice after the investigation is completed, and i thank you, mr. chairman, and i yield back. >> i would ask unanimous consent to put in the record the disqualification arising from from the-- department of justice ethical roots. the employees purchase occasion should not create an appearance
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of conflict of interest. fromld remind my friend pennsylvania that likely to publicpublic -- affect perception -- the integrity -- less than 1% of the population contributes that kind of money to a political campaign. there are 10,000 employees at the justice department. you would think she would look at this and say maybe i should recuse myself and not head up an investigation. i would ask that this be entered into the record as well. >> without objection. >> i will call on the gentleman from texas. our colleague from texas will be allowed to participate in today's hearing. so ordered. he is recognized. >> i thank the chairman. catherine is a friend of mine
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from houston. becauseome to know her her and her husband are small business owners. they are just trying to make a living in america. she started king street patriots wasstarted -- because she concerned about voter corruption in texas. she founded -- and so she started those two programs. insoon as she gets acted those two programs, primarily to the vote, trying to make our with process fair, integrity, she gets harassed by the federal government at the united states. harassment. what does that mean? to see her, question her about the people attending her meetings. she had numerous meetings with the fbi, including the fact that the fbi would sit in the king
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she patriot meetings. that was not all. she was visited by osha, by the epa or the texas equivalent to the epa, doing an investigation. she was visited by the atf and harassed by atf. irs on harassed by the numerous occasions. all she wanted was what every other organization that is trying to exercise their first isndment wants and deserves a tax-exempt. because of that, the right to exercise the first amendment is cane primarily so citizens criticize government and not be afraid of government harassing them to the use of government administrative bureaucrats. all these things happened to her. atf, irs, epa, harassed her because of her exercising her first-amendment right. i appreciate the fact that the
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witnesses are here to tell us how government oppress them for exercising that, and i will yield back to the chairman. thank you. >> anyone else? all righty. we will move to our witnesses. we have with us today catherine engelbrecht, becky gerritson and others. please stand up and raise your right hand. do you swear that the testimony you will give will be the truth? thethe record reflect answers were in the affirmative.
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we will go right down the line. your recognize. >> [indiscernible] --hit the >> thank you. good morning. engele is catherine brecht. i'm the founder of quinstreet king street patriots. thank you for this opportunity to share my story with you today, although at the outset it must be set is a story with a central theme that is shared by countless thousands of other americans who have not yet been heard from, although i pray they will be. it must be made publicly known that across this country citizens just like me are being targeted by administration willing to take any action necessary to silence opposition. i am an average american who had
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never been asked about the processes of government, but about volunteering in the 2009 elections, i saw problems that i thought cannot go on address. i started to devote, an organization that grew into a national movement to ensure every american voter has an opportunity to participate in elections that are free. involvedefore i got and spoke out for good government stands in stark contrast to the life i now lead. as a wife, mother, small business woman, working with my husband about raising our children participating in my church and pda, the government collected my -- pt a good government collected my taxes and didn't not left -- and left my family in peace. pages found quinstreet come -- king street patriots, i found myself a target.
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an assortment of federal entities, including law enforcement agencies and congressman cummings came knocking at my door. in nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and i never debt with any government agency other than filing our tax returns. all that change upon smithy applications for a nonprofit status of truth to vote and king street. since that filing, by private businesses, nonprofit organizations, i family and i have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry from federal agencies. businessy personal and tax returns were audited. each audits went back a number of year. the agency road and found it found nothing serious, it still issued fine. in 2012 and in 2013, atf
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conducted audits at my business and in 2010 the fbi contact did my organization on six separate occasions wanting to call to member manifests in relation to domestic terrorist cases. they reject it all my files. began aftercursions filing an application for tax exemption. there is no other remarkable event. there is no other reason to explain how for decades i went unnoticed, but now find myself on the receiving end of coordination into an against all facets of my life. these events were occurring while the irs subjected me to abuse and in choir he -- and inquiry the questions about my political aspirations, and demand to hear the names of groups i had spoken with them of
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the content of what i had said, and everywhere i intended to speak in the coming year. the answers to these questions are not of interest to the typical irs analyst, but of interest to a machine that would put its own survival against the civil liberties of the private citizen. this government attacked me because of my political elites, but i refuse to be cast as a victim. not to the irs, not to the fbi, not to osha, not to the bureau of atf, or any other government asian taxi -- government agency. a victim has no option. i do have options. i intend to use them to the fullest extent of my capabilities. as a citizen i am part of a country that believes in freedom of speech, so i will continue to speak out. in congress and all across this country, i will continue to press in any way possible as i did by filing suit against the irs.
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no american citizen should be willing to accept a government that uses its power against its own people. all the things that happened to my organizations, family, and me, many people would quit, and many americans have quit. i have heard that people are afraid to tell their stories. know this -- m sprints at the hands of this government in the last five years have made me more beforened than ever been to stand before you and to all americans and say i will not retreat, surrender, i will not be intimidated, and i will not ask for her mission to exercise my constitutional rights. i come before you on behalf of americans just like me, asking for a solution to end this ugly chapter of political intimidation. there was a time when people of goodwill were encouraged to participate in the processes of government, not targeted because of it.
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request of the irs to withdraw a -- that action should be taken quickly and without fail because if not it will codify into law the thing that rings be here today. pass,se regulations organizations will be destroyed. no american regardless of their political affiliation should support the silencing a political speech. the on ending the proposed irs relations, i ask you how i i employee you, as representatives of the people of this great nation come to pass a law that protects all citizens of this country from the increasing use of such abuse of practices. pass a law that exposes the officials who trample on the rights of ordinary citizens. not allow them to continue to cower behind the veil of secrecy and unfair behavior.
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all communication between government and education -- agencies. give us a transparent process. protect the people. restore liberty to the people, because we will not use silence. thank you for this opportunity. you, and god bless you, and we appreciate you being here today. you referenced the proposed law. i would like to enter a record that the chairman and i sent to the new commissioner of the irs two days ago where we highlight some of the things you referenced in your testimony. specifically how this rule was lois prepared long before learn was involved in putting this rule to go to. i would ask for consent and it he put into the record.
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you are now recognized. >> thank you. opportunity tohe appear today. i am a practicing attorney, and i deal with the irs and have dealt with them on a daily basis for many years. what i do is i help people obtain the tax exempt status or fit their activities within the tax code depending on what they want to do. i want to make three points here today. i will be happy to answer questions. first, the irs scandal is a real . is not pretend. israel. number two, the irs scandal is not just a boneheaded on child care cats in some remote office, contrary to what the president told the record people on sunday. number three, the irs scandal is not over. day, continuing to this
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and the department of justice investigation is a sham. it is a nonexistent investigation. with the guard to point number one. that me tell you in one sentence what the irs scandal is. direction of some political elites in washington, not in cincinnati, but washington took what had been for decades a process of reviewing applications for organizationsthat could be expected to take three or four weeks. they converted that process into one that took up to four years and in some cases is still not over. two, the line agents in the irs had their work disrupted and halted by washington.
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2010, three of us filed applications for status and did not attain that status until -- the irs. in september, they granted it. lerner and president obama accused line agents in ,incinnati of being as possible as being responsible, that is a lie, and i knew when lois lerner said that in may of 2010, that it was -- when she admitted that it was happening, after we knew it was happeneing. she finally admitted it. i knew it had not happened in cincinnati. the first time i really became aware of this was with a group that i were present. we filed for tax-exempt status in october 2009.
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besides cashing our check, we did not hear from them again until june of 2010. we did not hear from cincinnati. we heard from washington. that group did one thing. it lobbied against obamacare. in the fall of 2009 come in the spring of 2010, something that a 4 did. we did not get the tax exempt status for that or his agent until july of 2013. when i took the representation of catherine and her organizations in the fall of 2011, now a year after she had center application to the irs, and she has heard nothing, and when i talked to the assigned agent in cincinnati in october of 2000 11, saying we will supplement the application to try to help make it easier for you to process the he told me at there's a task force
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in washington. we cannot do anything until we hear back from washington. number three, this scandal is not over. has not stopped. i represent one group, tea party patriots. they still do not have their status. there are lies upon lies in this ugly episode. the commissioner of the irs lied to congress, i believe it was this committee in march of 2012 or april of 2012 when he said there was no targeting. how many communications from the irs to members of congress who inquired about the status of applications and whether there was targeting -- how many communications were there in which agents of the irs told congress that there was no targeting?
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those are lies. lying to congress is a crime. refused to do investigate who it was that was responsible for releasing the confidential tax information of which wastries released to the press or released the tax return. we see the irs to try to get that bottom of why are confidential tax information was made available to our political opponents. where is the fbi in investigating that? alsois a criminal offense, for the irs to release of potential donor information of the texas public policy foundation. conservative organizations whose donor information was released by the irs -- that is a criminal offense. who is investigating that? finally, the lies -- again, it is a lie, a felony to lie to a federal agency.
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and yet the irs on the day after thanksgiving in proposing these regulations, the agent from the irs he transmitted those proposed regulations in the formal publication says that there are in no related documents. this is what it says on the website. related documents -- none. that i have submitted a request on the half of tea party patriots, and they said we will get you all the documents until a braille -- until april. it will take them to april to get them to us. that was a lie. it was a lie when they said that regulationsof the was -- there are too many lies, mr. chairman. is time to get to the truth. it is time for the fbi to investigate those criminal acts,
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and it is time for the irs to cooperate as we try to get to the truth of why it has happened and how to make it stop. thank you. >> thank you. thank you so much for inviting me to speak. i cannot tell you how much i appreciate you holding this hearing. i have not here to carry a message of joy. my belovedef for country. eight months ago i along with five other victims laid out our cases about the irs abuses in a committee like this. at that hearing we learn details about the irs that was leaking information to opposition groups when this is a felony. we witnessed multiple violations of the administrative procedure act, as well as violations of the internal revenue code. os lerner out right lied to the american people blaming the scandal on a few rogue agents in
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cincinnati, knowing full well the targeting involved irs our purses -- offices across the country, including her office in washington. lois lerner took the fifth for a reason. government employees did not go rogue en masse. their orders originate somewhere. with all these violations of the law, no one has been lamed, fired, arrested, or brought to justice. because of that i have to ask how many people in congress are taking this seriously. since my i still have not been contacted by the fbi. the fbi told the wall street journal no one would be charged with a crime if they have not even interviewed the witnesses. will you let them get away with this? i must say again my government has forgotten its place. it appears many in washington regular citizens standing up for constitutional limited government.

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